Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Rana chiricahuensis)

photo by Jim Rorabaugh/USFWS

Common Name: Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana chiricahuensis
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona and New Mexico
Size: 2.2 to 4.3 inches (57 – 109.22 mm)

The Chiricahua Leopard Frog needs permanent bodies of water to reproduce. They breed from April to October. The males will call from the water and make a snore sounding call. The tadpoles take 3 to 9 months to complete metamorphosis, some have to over winter and complete it in the spring.

The Chiricahua Leopard Frog is listed as federally Threatened Species by the United States government. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has them listed as Vulnerable. The main threats to the frog is habitat destruction, disease, and invasive species. Their habitat destroyed by dams, cattle grazing, water diversion, and ground water pumping. Chytrid fungus, a deadly frog killing disease that has caused many extinctions of frogs, has been found in the frogs since 1992. Lastly, non-native bullfrogs, sport fish, and crayfish were introduced to their habitat were they feast on the Chiricahua Leopard Frog.

The Phoenix Zoo has a head start program to help wild populations. Once the frogs in the wild start reproducing, eggs are collected and brought to the zoo to be raised. The eggs and tadpoles have a higher chance of survival this way. Then they are released back into the wild.

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