Lithobates blairi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Lithobates blairi (Mecham, Littlejohn, Oldham, Brown & Brown, 1973)
Common Name(s):
English Plains Leopard Frog
Rana blairi Mecham, Littlejohn, Oldham, Brown & Brown, 1973
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification and presumed large population. However, local declines and extirpations suggest that population monitoring is needed to determine the current status of subpopulations at the edge of the species' range.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species can be found in the United States in the southern edge of South Dakota to central Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999), west to eastern Colorado (Hammerson 1999) and central New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996), east in the Prairie Peninsula to Indiana, south along the Mississippi River to southeastern Missouri (Johnson 1987). Disjunctive populations occur in southeastern Arizona (Clarkson and Rorabauch 1989) and there is an apparently introduced population at Ashurst Lake, Coconino County, north-central Arizona (not mapped here) (Brown 1992). It occurs to elevations of around 1,800 m asl in Arizona and Colorado and 1,000-2,250 m asl in New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996). Stebbins (1985) reported the elevational range as 110-2,590 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
United States (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):110
Upper elevation limit (metres):2590
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are hundreds of occurrences (Brown 1992) of this species. Most state accounts do not distinguish between historical and recent occurrences. It has been recorded from virtually every county within its range in Texas (Dixon 2000) and has been documented in every one of several dozen counties in Kansas (Collins 1993). It has been recorded in nearly every county (about 47) within the range in Missouri (Johnson 1987). Lynch (1978) mapped well over 100 collection sites in Nebraska. It has recently been recorded from about 25 counties in Illinois; 17 additional counties have pre-1980 records; it is widespread but not abundant in peripheral prairie remnants and south along the Mississippi River bottomlands (Phillips et al. 1999). Hammerson (1999) mapped approximately 100 collection/observation sites in Colorado. Degenhardt et al. (1996) recorded 100+ locations in New Mexico. It is "locally common" and "commonly seen" in suitable habitat in north central Texas and the Texas Panhandle (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999, Dixon 2000). It is common throughout Kansas, found in every aquatic situation (Collins 1993). It is widespread and locally common throughout its historical range in Colorado (Hammerson 1999). Declines or extirpations of local populations have been noted in Iowa (Christiansen and Bailey 1991), Illinois (Phillips et al. 1999), Arizona (Frost and Bagnara 1977, Frost 1983, Clarkson and Rorabaugh 1989), Colorado (Hammerson 1982, 1999) and Texas (Platz 1981); see also Hayes and Jennings (1986). However, these declines have been noted primarily around the margins of the range; the species apparently remains common and relatively stable in the range core.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is usually found in the vicinity of streams, ponds, creek pools, reservoirs, irrigation ditches and marshes in areas of prairie and desert grassland, farmland and prairie canyons. Stebbins (1985) also mentioned oak and oak-pine woodland as habitat. It is generally found in or near water, but it may range into surrounding terrestrial habitat in wet weather. When disturbed, it often seeks refuge in vegetation surrounding bodies of water. It burrows into mud and leaves of pond and stream bottoms in winter. It has been found in caves in Oklahoma. See Brown (1992) for further details for various states. Eggs and larvae develop in temporary or permanent pools, ponds, flooded areas, sloughs and marshes, commonly in muddy water. Males frequently call while floating at the water surface (Brown 1992).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Suggested causes of declines or extirpations of local subpopulations include water pollution; groundwater pumping; introduction of exotic fishes and amphibians; agricultural development; increased aridity/drought; habitat loss or alteration; toxicants; competition with Rana berlandieri; and predation by, competition with, and/or larval inhibition by bullfrogs (see Brown 1992 and Hammerson 1999). In Illinois, most of original habitat has been rendered unsuitable by agriculture (Phillips et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many subpopulations are in preserves of various types, but this does not ensure adequate protection from exotic species. Thus, invasive species control may be needed in areas that have experienced declines possibly due to competition or predation pressure from invasives. Population monitoring of these areas would also be needed in conjunction with invasive control measures.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Lithobates blairi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T58562A64301057. . Downloaded on 21 October 2017.
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