Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Rana luteiventris
Species Authority: Thompson, 1913
Common Name(s):
English Columbia Spotted Frog
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:
Taxonomic Notes: Green, Kaiser, Sharbel, Kearsley and McAllister (1997) recognized Rana luteiventris as a distinct species from Rana pretiosa.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known to occur in North America from extreme southeastern Alaska, southwestern Yukon, northern British Columbia, and western Alberta south through Washington east of the Cascades, eastern Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana to Nevada (disjunctive, Mary's, Reese, and Owyhee river systems), southwestern Idaho (disjunctive), Utah (disjunctive, Wasatch Mountains and west desert), and western and north-central (disjunctive) Wyoming (Stebbins 1985; Green et al. 1996, 1997). Disjunctive populations occur on isolated mountains and in arid-land springs. It occurs from sea level to about 3,000m asl (Stebbins 1985).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its widespread, numerous populations (Hodge 1976, Nussbaum et al. 1983), though the disjunctive southern populations are limited in number. It is numerous in many areas in Canada and the Rocky Mountains. Significant declines have occurred in some areas of Utah and Wyoming. It has possibly declined in Idaho, but apparently numbers are still high (Phillips 1990; Groves pers. comm., 1992). Declines have been reported for disjunctive populations in the Wasatch Front in Utah. The West Desert (Bonneville) population has declined in range and abundance. Recent intensive surveys indicate severe declines in the Great Basin populations. See Federal Register, 7 May 1993, 2 April 1998. Northern populations appear to be stable.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is highly aquatic; rarely found far from permanent quiet water; usually occurs at the grassy/sedgy margins of streams, lakes, ponds, springs, and marshes (Hodge 1976, Licht 1986). Animals may disperse into forest, grassland, and brush land during wet weather. Breeds usually in shallow water in ponds or other quiet waters. See Munger et al. (1998) for quantitative information on habitat in southwestern Idaho.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Populations in western Utah are limited by scarce habitat (springs) and are potentially threatened by habitat degradation from cattle grazing and agricultural activities. Oil and gas exploration is a increasing threat. Water development could lower water tables and adversely impact spring habitats. Introduced bullfrogs and fishes might have an adverse impact, but the current degree of threat is unknown. Mosquito control agents pose a potential threat. Wasatch Front population is facing serious threats from habitat loss and modification, especially water development associated with the Central Utah Project; current and imminent threats include the Provo River Restoration Project and Wasatch County Efficiency Project; wetlands created as mitigation for the Central Utah Project have contributed only minimally to spotted frog reproduction. Additional threats include continued development along the Wasatch Front, water diversions for irrigation, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, and construction of roads and trails. A recent conservation agreement among the state of Utah and other agencies has significantly reduced the level of threat to the Wasatch Front and West Desert populations (Federal Register, 2 April 1998). Great Basin population has been adversely affected by habitat degradation resulting from mining, livestock grazing, road construction, agriculture, and direct predation by bullfrogs and non-native fishes. Not likely to be at risk from present acidification inputs in the Rocky Mountains (Corn and Vertucci 1992). Possibly global climate changes are a factor (Hayes and Jennings 1986). At the embryonic stage, UV-B radiation currently does not seem to be contributing to population declines (Blaustein et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is somewhat protected in several federal and state parks and refuges, though management usually ignores this species. A considerable portion of the range of the West Desert population is under management of the US Bureau of Land Management. Wasatch Front population occurs mainly on private land, with some federal ownership along Jordanelle Dam and the Provo River. Great Basin population occurs primarily on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. A conservation agreement for both the Wasatch Front and West Desert populations has been developed by state and federal agencies. Conservation activities implemented for the least chub should also benefit the West Desert population.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Rana luteiventris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T58649A11819777. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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