BC List Status:
Blue (Considered to be of Special Concern)
Northern Red-legged Frog looks like the Oregon Spotted Frog, or in juvenile phases to the introduced juvenile Green Frog, and possibly Western Toad. Range overlap with Oregon Spotted Frog is limited and both species have key morphological differences. Eyes of Oregon Spotted Frog turn laterally upward (pupils can be seen from above), and hind feet are completely webbed to tips of the toes. Northern Red-legged Frog eyes face laterally (to the side) and pupils cannot be seen from above and hind foot webbing does not extend to toe tips. The ventral colouration on mature individuals is an intense red on Northern Red-legged Frog versus a deep orange on Oregon Spotted Frog. Juvenile Green Frog tend to be a uniform olive colour with a pronounced tympanum and a bright green line extending along the upper lip to the shoulder.
Oregon Spotted Frog Image Credit: William P. Leonard
Habitat loss due to urbanization including draining and infilling of wetlands, and hydrological disruption of surface and groundwater.
Reduced dispersal due to habitat fragmentation and alteration in riparian and upland forests from forest activities.
Vegetation and hydrology shifts from climate change, and habitat alteration from invasive plant species.
Impact from roads including habitat fragmentation, mortality from vehicle collisions, habitat degradation and population isolation.
Predation by introduced Bullfrog, competition from introduced Green Frog and fish stocking in breeding sites for sport fishing.
Cumulative impacts from disease. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been linked to dramatic population declines or even extinctions of amphibian species in western North America.
Direct mortality or sub-lethal impacts throughout all life history phases from fertilizer and pesticide applications in urban and agricultural areas as well as for silviculture management.
Apply conservation and management objectives as set out in the Management Plan for the Northern Red-legged Frog Rana aurora in Canada” (2017), and “Develop with Care’s BMP’s for Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Rural Environments in British Columbia”. Complimentary objectives can be found in “Accounts and Measures for Managing Identified Wildlife – Accounts V.2 Red-legged Frog Rana aurora aurora”. Inventory and monitoring resources include standardized methods (Resource Information Standards Committee) # 37 Inventory Methods for Pond-breeding Amphibians and Painted Turtle (Version 2.0), “Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity - Standard Methods for Amphibians”, “Suitability of Amphibians and Reptiles for Translocation” and amphibian survey methodologies developed for the “Wetlandkeepers Handbook”.
For further details on conservation and management objectives for this species, please consult the above noted resources, references provided or contact provincial and federal agencies.
This species is listed under the Federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) and is Identified Wildlife in BC and is subject to protections and prohibitions under the BC Wildlife Act. Habitat for this species may also be governed under provincial and federal regulations including the Fish Protection Act and Federal Fisheries Act as well as Regional and local municipal bylaws.