North America seems to be a haven for frogs and toads. There are more than a hundred species in North America and not a single state or country on the continent is without one or more species. Frogs are abundant in North America. However, there are some species of frogs on the continent that are rare and sometimes elusive. Habitat tends to be the cause of rarity for all of the following frog species. For some it is habitat loss that is causing a problem with the population. Others just have a naturally small range. Either way, the effect is the same. These frogs are very difficult to find.
Rare North American Frogs: Florida Bog Frog
The Florida Bog Frog can only be found in a very small portion in the Midwestern area of Florida’s panhandle. In that area, they can only be found in the drainages of the East Bay River, the Titi Creek and the Lower Yellow River. They are not considered endangered, however, their very limited range makes them very vulnerable to habitat destruction or alteration.
Florida Bog Frogs are green or murky green in color. They may have darker greenish spots on their backs and/or light yellowish-green spots on their sides. They have very little webbing on their rear feet. They grow to be between 1-3/8 inches and 1-15/16 inches in length.
As is the case with most frog species, Florida Bog Frogs are much easier to find during the mating season, when the males are emitting their mating calls. This happens between April and August, sometimes as late as September.
Rare North American Frogs: Pine Barrens Treefrog
The Pine Barrens Treefrog can be found in New Jersey, the far western Florida panhandle, a very small portion of southern Alabama, and small portions of both North and South Carolina. They can be found in boggy areas where they breed in the spring and summer. Males are often more active in their mating calls after it rains.
Pine Barrens Treefrogs are medium green with a white and brown stripe from their snout all the way down their sides. The stripe may be speckled yellow near the frog’s joints. They grow to be between 1-1/8 inches and 2 inches in length.
Rare North American Frogs: Relict Leopard Frog
Relict Leopard Frogs are only found in a very small area in southeastern Nevada into northwestern Arizona. Their population has declined and their range has decreased in size due to invasive species and habitat changes.
Relict Leopard Tree Frogs are light brown to dark greenish-black in color. They often have darker markings all over. They may grow to be between 1-3/4 inches and 3-1/2 inches in length. They breed between February and April and again in November. However, their calls are very difficult to hear because they are often made underwater.
With the right habitat conservation efforts and/or captive breeding and release programs, not only can we ensure that these rare frog species will survive, but we may also be able to increase their numbers. Some of these frog species are already receiving the help they need. Others are not in dire need of any assistance, but habitat conservation should always be kept in mind.
Elliott, Lang & Gerhardt, Carl & Davidson, Carlos, The Frogs and Toads of North America Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 p. 228-229, 292-293, 204-205, 52-55