Decline of Northern Cricket Frogs (<i>Acris crepitans</i>)

Robert H. Gray and Lauren E. Brown

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI:
Decline of Northern Cricket Frogs (Acris crepitans)

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At the end of the nineteenth century, there were indications that northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) were numerous in the midwestern United States. Cricket frog decline was documented for the first time in 1977, in the relatively small area occupied by the species in extreme southern Ontario, Canada. Numerous reports of decline and ample scientific literature on the biology of cricket frogs have been published, but a clear-cut indication of the cause(s) of this trend toward extinction remains unidentified. However, a number of anthropogenic factors and environmental conditions have been suggested. Cricket frog population declines present an excellent opportunity to study the process of amphibian extinction. Furthermore, amphibian declines are of obvious significance to the future of humankind. This chapter reviews the relevant biology and trend toward extinction of northern cricket frogs. It discusses the historic geographical distribution of northern cricket frogs, along with their habitat, life history, color polymorphism, effective breeding size of populations, threats to their existence, and morphological abnormalities. Extinction scenarios for the species are also presented.

Keywords: Acris crepitans; northern cricket frogs; population declines; extinction; geographical distribution; biology; life history; color polymorphism; effective breeding size; morphological abnormalities

Chapter.  7550 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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