Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa)

Species Status: Endangered in Canada; Vulnerable globally (IUCN assessment)
Action Required: Conservation breeding, headstarting, reintroduction and population augmentation

The Oregon spotted frog’s scientific name “pretiosa” means “precious” in Latin — a fitting moniker considering that not many remain. With only a few hundred individuals left, the Oregon spotted frog is the most endangered amphibian in Canada.

Oregon spotted frogs are well designed for aquatic living and seldom stray far from water. With webbing on their feet that goes all the way to the tip of their toes, these amphibians are expert swimmers. Meanwhile, their upward-turned eyes allow them to see things above the surface while keeping their heads almost completely submerged. When disturbed, Oregon spotted frogs will dive to the bottom to hide for long periods of time, making them even trickier to find.

Adult Oregon spotted frogs are warm-water marsh specialists that prefer floodplain wetlands, side channels and swamps with a year-round water supply. They prefer habitat with a large amount of open water, as well as wetland grasses, rushes and sedges.

Now on the brink of disappearing from Canada, this frog is found only in British Columbia’s Lower Fraser Valley, where only a few hundred breeding individuals are believed to remain in a few small, widely scattered populations.

The biggest factor driving the decline of the Oregon spotted frog is likely habitat loss caused by development, agricultural land conversion, resource extraction and hydrological alterations. Other threats include invasive species and pollution. With just a handful of breeding populations left in Canada, this species could easily disappear without hands-on intervention.

Recommended Recovery Actions

The federal and B.C. Recovery Strategies call for a number of measures, including maintaining conservation assurance populations to protect genetic diversity; breeding and releasing frogs to boost wild populations; restoring habitat; and refining headstarting and conservation breeding techniques.

What we are doing

Find out how Wildlife Preservation Canada helps save Canada’s reptiles and amphibians, including Oregon spotted frogs, and how you can make a difference.