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Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens)


The Nature Conservancy has assigned R. pipiens a global rank of G5, Very Common, meaning the species as a whole is secure (Oldham, 1996).

The Manitoba provincial Conservation Data Centre assigned R. pipiens a rank of S4, Common (Duncan et al., 1994). In Manitoba, R. pipiens is first mentioned by name in the Wildlife Act, July 19, 1980, under Division 5 of Schedule A -- Amphibians and Reptiles. Before that, it was included in the Wildlife Act under the general definition of wildlife, with "some specific protection by regulation under the Act" (R. Larche, pers. comm.). A permit for collecting was required after September 1971. In April 1973 a quota and season were instigated whereby “a resident holder of an amphibian and reptile picker's licence may hunt, take and sell northern leopard frogs and northern leopard frog tadpoles” for any purpose from August 1 to October 31 and for sale as sport fishing bait only, from May 1 to August 1. A limit of 50 tons, max., of adult northern leopard frogs taken within a calendar year was imposed. Although a commercial season for fish bait exists in Manitoba, few dealers have been active in this business (R. Larche, pers. comm.).

Legislation varies in other jurisdictions. No Saskatchewan amphibians have any legislative protection (Seburn, 1992a) and permits are not required to collect, study, hunt or keep captive any amphibian in the province (Russell, 1996). Rana pipiens has a rank of S4, Common, in Saskatchewan (Oldham, pers. comm.). In January 1997, R. pipiens was designated "endangered" by the government of Alberta (Wagner, 1997). There is no Conservation Data Centre in Alberta and hence no S-rank. In British Columbia, R. pipiens is legally protected from killing or collecting by the provincial wildlife act (L. Friis, pers. comm.). Rana pipiens in British Columbia is ranked S1 -- Extremely Rare, usually five or fewer populations and especially vulnerable to extirpation (Oldham, pers. comm.). It is designated as "wildlife" in the N.W.T. and may be captured or killed for management or research with a permit (Russell, 1996). There is no S-rank for the N.W.T.  In adjacent U.S. states, R. pipiens has the following ranks: Washington, S1, Extremely Rare; Idaho, S5, Very Common; Montana, S3/4, Rare to Uncommon and/or Common; North Dakota, no rank (Oldham, pers. comm.). These ranks do not necessarily reflect current distributions. In western Montana R. pipiens has "nearly disappeared" although it was once common (J. Reichel, pers. comm.).