Rare Earthtones Logo
Spacer Spacer
Center for Biological Diversity Home

CASCADES FROG } Rana cascadae

RANGE: Found from the northern Sierra Nevada in California to northern Washington

STATUS: A Candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a Species of Special Concern in California, Critical Species in Oregon and Species of Concern in Washington. The World Conservation Union lists the Cascades frog as Near Threatened.

THREATS: Introduced trout, UV-B radiation, fungal pathogens, and loss of open meadow habitat due to fire suppression

The Cascades frog is pulling off quite a vanishing act — not because it’s magical, but because humans are rapidly altering its environment. This mottled brown frog loves high-elevation wetlands: moist mountain meadows, streamside banks, and small ponds. It hibernates through the long, snowy winters that blanket the Cascade Range. Biologists aren’t sure exactly how many Cascade frogs remain; what we do know is that they’re rare to nonexistent in many portions of their historical range in California, and there have been documented declines in the central Oregon Cascade Range and around Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California. The main culprits behind their disappearance? Introduced trout, which like to snack on tadpoles and young.

Photo by Frank E. (Ed) Ely © California Academy of Sciences