Pelophylax lessonae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pelophylax lessonae
Species Authority: (Camerano, 1882)
Common Name(s):
English Pool Frog
Rana lessonae Camerano, 1882
Rana lessonae Camerano, 1882

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Sergius Kuzmin, Trevor Beebee, Franco Andreone, Per Nyström, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács, István Kiss, Miklós Puky, Judit Vörös
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed over much of Europe, ranging as far east as the southern Ural Mountains of Russia. It is absent from the Iberian Peninsula (except for introductions to Spain in Cáceres [Villasbuenas de Gata] and unspecified localities in Galicia, Cataluña and Comunidad Valenciana), much of Scandinavia, central and southern Italy (exact distribution not known but thought to be replaced by P. bergeri) and it is absent from the Balkans. There are two isolated relict populations - one near Oslo (Norway) and Uppland (Sweden) north of Stockholm. It is native (formerly extirpated) to the British Isles and has been recently reintroduced from Sweden. It might occur up to 1,550m asl in southern parts of its range.
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; France; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine
United Kingdom
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although this species is reported to be declining over much of its European range (Gasc et al., 1997), it remains widespread and common in Poland, the Baltic Republics, Moldova, Russia and the Ukraine.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is present in deciduous and mixed forests, forest steppe, steppe, bush lands (e.g. riparian alder groves), meadows, fields and fens. It may often be found in shallow stagnant waterbodies (usually without fish) such as lakes, ponds, swamps, large puddles, clay and gravel pits, and ditches, often covered with dense herbaceous vegetation. It breeds in these wetlands, but may be found hibernating away from waterbodies. It is not very adaptable, but can occur in slightly modified habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by habitat loss through agricultural intensification and urbanization, channelization of waterbodies, drainage and pollution of wetlands, and the introduction of predatory fishes to breeding sites. It is additionally threatened by afforestation (in northern parts of the range) and competition with the larger sympatric R. ridibunda. The frog-leg trade (which is increasing) and high levels of pollution are leading to significant declines in populations within Yugoslavia (Dzukic, 1996; Ljubisavljevic et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and on Annex IV of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. It is protected by national legislation in many countries and is recorded on a number of national and sub-national Red Data books and lists. It is present in many protected areas. In parts of the species' range, mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been established.

Bibliography [top]

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Citation: Sergius Kuzmin, Trevor Beebee, Franco Andreone, Per Nyström, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács, István Kiss, Miklós Puky, Judit Vörös 2009. Pelophylax lessonae. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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