Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvaticus
Species Authority: (LeConte, 1825)
Common Name(s):
English Wood Frog
Lithobates sylvatica LeConte, 1825
Rana sylvatica LeConte, 1825
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: 2014-08-14
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 and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in northern North America from Alaska to Labrador (Chubbs and Phillips 1998), south to New Jersey, northern Georgia and northern Idaho; it has a spotty distribution south to northern Colorado in Rocky Mountains, there are also disjunctive subpopulations in Arkansas-Missouri (Stebbins 1985, Conant and Collins 1991). It ranges farther north than any other North American amphibian.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is abundant and widespread.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in various kinds of forest/woodland habitats; edges of ponds and streams; also willow thickets and grass/willow/aspen associations. When inactive, it hides in logs, humus, leaf-litter or under logs and rocks. Eggs are laid and larvae develop usually in small fish-free ponds, temporary or permanent, in wooded (usually) or open areas. In the Shenandoah Mountains, breeding adults were 100% faithful to the ponds in which they first bred; approximately 18% of the juveniles dispersed to breed in ponds other than the one of origin (Berven and Grudzien 1991). Experiments and field observations by Hopey and Petranka (1994) indicate that adults are able to assess the presence of fishes in ponds and may change breeding sites accordingly to avoid those with predatory fishes. In northern Minnesota, successful reproduction in acidic bog water either does not occur or is a rare event (Karns 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): Threats to local subpopulations include intensive timber harvesting practices that reduce canopy closure, understorey vegetation, uncompacted forest litter or coarse woody debris (moderately to well-decayed) in areas surrounding breeding sites (deMaynadier and Hunter 1999). Negative impacts of intensive timber harvesting extend at least 25-35 m into uncut forest (deMaynadier and Hunter 1998). It is not considered likely to be at risk from present acidification inputs in the Rocky Mountains (Corn and Vertucci 1992).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific conservation actions are needed. It occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Lithobates sylvaticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T58728A64649894. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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