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Rana cascadae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA RANIDAE

Scientific Name: Rana cascadae
Species Authority: Slater, 1939
Common Name(s):
English Cascades Frog

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Christopher Pearl
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because of a variety of threats, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the Cascade Mountains from northern Washington south to northern California, USA. Populations isolated from the main Cascade Mountains complex occur in the Olympic Mountains, Washington; Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak area, California; and the Trinity Mountains, California (Stebbins 1985b; Nussbaum, Brodie and Storm 1983; Pearl and Adams 2005). Its range is generally between 665 and 2,450m asl, although some Washington populations might occur at lower altitudes. Its prehistoric range might have included much lower altitudes (Leonard et al. 1993).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Washington State, hundreds of populations have been identified, but some of these are likely to be no longer extant, and others might be continuous with adjacent populations (Dvornich, McAllister and Aubry 1997). This species is very rare and possibly extirpated from the Mount Lassen area, California (Fellers and Drost 1993). However, a population persists at Trinity Alps, California (Bury 1973a; Jennings and Hayes 1994). Some declines might have occurred in the Oregon Cascades (Olson 2001), but there have been no declines documented in Olympic (Adams, Schindler and Bury 2001) and Mount Rainier National Parks in Washington State.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits wet mountain meadows, sphagnum bogs, ponds, lakes, and streams, in open coniferous forests. It hibernates in mud at the bottom of ponds and in spring-water saturated ground up to at least 75m from ponds (Briggs 1987). It prefers quiet ponds for breeding and usually lays eggs in shallow open water. Non-breeding habitats are often more than 100m from breeding sites, sometimes substantially more. Non-breeding habitats can be streams in lower altitudes. It is not clear how adaptable this species is to habitat degradation.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Observed declines in Lassen Volcanic National Park are apparently due to a combination of local factors, including (1) the presence of non-native predatory fish that have restricted available habitat and limited dispersal of frogs; (2) gradual loss of open meadows and associated aquatic habitats; and (3) loss of breeding habitat due to a five-year drought (Fellers and Drost 1993). Pesticide drift via prevailing winds might also have contributed to losses in California (Davidson, Shaffer and Jennings 2002). Introduced fish are implicated as limiting distribution in montane areas (Hayes and Jennings 1986; Jennings and Hayes 1994; Adams, Schindler and Bury 2001). UV radiation shows negative effects in experimental settings, but effects at landscape scale are unclear (Adams, Schindler and Bury 2001; Palen et al. 2002). Eggs are highly susceptible to the pathogenic fungus Saprolegnia ferax, which might be introduced during fish stocking (Kiesecker and Blaustein 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some populations are within protected national park and wilderness areas in Oregon (such as Crater Lake National Park, and the Three Sisters wilderness area), Washington (Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks), and California (Mount Lassen and Trinity Alps). However, factors such as pesticide drift, UV radiation, and fish introductions are prominent threats even in montane protected areas.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Christopher Pearl 2004. Rana cascadae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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