Autumn Movements of Oregon Spotted Frog and Winter Habitat Use in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon

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The Oregon spotted frog is endemic to the Pacific Northwest where loss and alteration of wetland habitats have contributed to declines in the species. Like many amphibians, the Oregon spotted frog uses multiple habitats across seasons.

Relatively little was known about winter habitat use in their core range in the Cascade mountains. USGS researchers used radio telemetry to track frogs and characterize fall movements and winter habitat use at nine sites from four populations in the Oregon Cascades. Movements tended to be clustered in a 1 to 2-week migratory window with frogs arriving at winter locations by early November. Approximately 85% of frogs moved less than 250 m. Frogs tended to move further in ditches. A range of winter habitats were used such as springs, interstices in lava rock, and semi-terrestrial beaver channels. These varied habitats suggest some flexibility, but research is needed on winter habitat availability, site-fidelity, and propensity to aggregate.


Pearl, C.A., McCreary, B., Rowe, J.C., Adams, M.J., 2018, Late-season movement and habitat use by Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) in Oregon, USA: Copeia, v. 106, no. 3, p. 539-549,

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Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

Herpetological Research Team (FRESC)

The Herpetological Research Team focuses on issues related to conservation and management of amphibians and other aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Among our current studies are effects of invasive species, disease, and land use change on the dynamics of amphibian communities to inform conservation and management decision making.