|Biological Diversity 2001|
leopard frog, Rana pipiens
of Rana pipiens in North America.
Frog Life Cycle
Note the inflated vocal sacks.
hear the beautiful call of Rana pipiens, use the controls below.
(This requires a media player to play.) The
recording is courtesy of Microsoft
The northern leopard frog, R. pipiens, is common and is therefore not listed or proposed to be listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act (Frogs.org, 2001). R. pipiens do not appear on the IUCN (ICUN, 2000) list or the CITES (CITES, 2001) list of endangered and threatened species.
information is available as to the status of the species in the United
States. The first widespread deformities and declines were recorded in
1995 in Minnesota (MPCA, 2001). However, in Alberta, Canada, the
decline of northern leopard frogs has been well documented. The numbers
of Rana pipiens started to decline in the 1960s, but the breeding
populations remained healthy until the late 1970s. By 1990, only half
of the remaining populations in Alberta were successfully breeding (Rasmussen,
This cartoon courtesy of Ray Rasmussen
As the northern leopard frog is not considered an endangered or threatened species in the United States, there are only a few organizations concerned with their conservation.
The Great Lake Declining Amphibian Working Group is concerned with the declines of all amphibians and includes many good links to other organizations.
A Thousand Friends of Frogs is an organization under the care of the Center for Global Environmental Education at Hamline University. It is mostly a resource for teachers, with a mission of "connecting children, parents, educators, and scientists to study and celebrate frogs and their habitats."
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have a
very useful website about frog deformations and issues related to sightings,
causes of malformations, and education resources. The funding of the MPCA
was cut by the Minnesota Legislature in July of 2001, however they continue
to maintain this useful website.
We highly recommend visiting the clickable map of North America at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center! Look for reports of malformed frogs and other amphibians in your state.
For basic information on R. pipiens, go to Frogs.org
For more in depth information, go to Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
More pictures of deformed frogs c an be found at The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
For overall information on frogs and some specific information on Rana pipiens visit Encarta.com
More great links to other organizations can be found at the National Biological Information Infrastructure
Conservation on International Trade in Endangered Species or Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 12 November 2001. http://www.cites.org (31 October 2001).
Donegan, Keenan. 28 March 1996. Rana pipiens (Leopard Frog). http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/rana/r._pipiens$narrative.html (29 October 2001).
2001. Leopard Frog Diving. http://encarta.msn.com/find/MediaMax.asp?pg=3&ti=761552464&idx=461539082
(31 October 2001).
Frogs.org. 2000-2001. Species info for Northern Leopard Frog. http://www.frogs.org (31 October 2001).
Harding, James H. 2000. Amphibian and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 11 July 2001. Frequently Asked Questions About Deformed Frogs. http://www.pca.state.mn.us/hot/frog-faq.html (29 October 2001).
National Biological Informational Infrastructure (NBII). 24 August 2001. FrogWeb: Amphibian Declines & Deformities. http://www.frogweb.gov/index.html (27 October 2001).
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. 6 September 2001. Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/narcam/idguide/rpipiens.htm (31 October 2001).
Rasmussen, Ray. The Northern Leopard Frog. http://raysweb.net/specialplaces/pages/frog.html (10 November 2001).
Rosenberry, Donald O. 31 August 2001. Malformed Frogs In Minnesota: An Update. http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/FS/fs-043-01/ (29 October 2001).
Northern Leopard Frog
image courtesy of the National
Biological Information Infrastructure
Rana pipiens, also known as the northern leopard frog, is a very important frog in the ecosystem. The northern leopard frog is a key animal in the food web. Frogs are more important to human survival and our current way of life than you may think! Frogs are so important that ecologists consider them to be bioindicators. In other words, scientists consider the health of a frog population to be a reflection of the health of the entire ecosystem (Encarta, 2001).
This image of a northern leopard frog jumping into water is courtesy of Microsoft Encarta
Malformed Frogs in Minnesota
frogs have become a serious issue in recent years. Amphibian
malformations have been recorded in 44 states and in nearly 60 species
(NBII, 2001). Malformed
frogs are found throughout
the United States and Canada (see clickable map at Northern
Prairie Wildlife Research Center),
but first became a public issue in Minnesota. A high number of the malformed
frogs are northern leopard frogs, R. pipiens (MPCA, 2001).
For these reasons, we have chosen to focus on the issue of malformed frogs
in Minnesota, and R. pipiens in particular.
also believe that man-made chemicals other than pesticides may have an
adverse affect on frogs as well. However, some studies show conflicting
results. Some chemicals that are thought to be linked to malformations,
such as methoprene, have been found not to affect the malformation of
R. pipiens at levels commonly found in the environment (MPCA,
Background image courtesy of Great Lakes Declining Amphibian Working Group
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This website is part of a Biology 26 class project on the conservation of global biodiversity.