Blanchard's Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
Other/Previous Names: Northern Cricket Frog ,Acris crepitans ,Acris crepitans blanchardi
Taxonomy Group: Amphibians
COSEWIC Range: Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2011
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:
This small frog is widespread, but declining rapidly, in the U.S. In Canada, it is known only from extreme southwest Ontario. There have been no confirmed records in Canada since the early 1970s despite frequent searches. However, there have been unconfirmed reports of the species as recently as the mid-1990s. Consequently, it is slightly possible that the species still exists in Canada. Threats to this frog include destruction and alteration of its habitat and effects of pesticides, herbicides and other contaminants.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in April 1990. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2001 and May 2011.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
The northern cricket frog is a small, semi-aquatic frog with a "warty" appearance and a pointed snout. The frogs are brown or grey, with a V-shaped mark between the eyes, faint markings on the back, and a broad dark stripe on the long back legs. The back feet have webbed toes. The breeding call of the male frog sounds like pebbles being rapidly clicked together. Adults measure 16 to 38 mm in length.
Distribution and Population
Although widespread in the eastern and central United States, in Canada, this frog species has been found only at Point Pelee and Pelee Island, in extreme southwestern Ontario. The Point Pelee population is now believed to have been extirpated. On Pelee Island, northern cricket frogs have been declining to a point where they are now thought to possibly persist only in Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve, located at the southern tip of the island.
Northern cricket frogs inhabit the margins of water bodies, such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and, sometimes, temporary ponds and rain pools. On Pelee Island, they have been found in shoreline marshes, pools, lagoons, drainage canals used for agriculture, ditches and flooded fields. They are usually found on muddy shores or in aquatic vegetation in shallow waters.
Northern cricket frogs in Canada breed in June and July. The frogs attach their eggs to vegetation below the water surface. Tadpoles metamorphose in 5 to 10 weeks. The juvenile frogs reach sexual maturity shortly after transformation from tadpoles. Northern cricket frogs hibernate under rocks or logs, or in depressions, holes and cracks in the shoreline, but away from water.
The scouring of coastal marshes during severe storms, and predation by birds, reptiles, bullfrogs and fish, are some of the natural factors contributing to the species’ decline. However, loss of wetlands to development is the major factor affecting populations of northern cricket frogs. Damage to habitat includes drainage of marshes and the dredging of drainage canals that are used by the frogs as breeding sites. Habitat degradation is an important factor as well. These frogs are intolerant of pollution, and the runoff of pesticides and fertilizers is believed to be a major contributor to the decline and disappearance of the species.
The Blanchard's Cricket Frog is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
The Northern Cricket Frog is protected by the Ontario Endangered Species Act and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Under these Acts, it is prohibited to kill, harm, harass, or collect this species, or to disturb its habitat. This species occurs at Lighthouse Point and Fish Point, which are designated as Provincial Nature Reserves
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
Northern Cricket Frog Recovery Team
Bob Johnson - Chair/Contact - Other
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to Date The Toronto Zoo is currently maintaining a captive population of Northern Cricket Frogs and examining DNA profiles across their present and historical ranges. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities On Pelee Island, several searches for the Northern Cricket Frog have been conducted since 1979. Despite these efforts, it has only ever been reported at the Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve and was last sighted at this location in 1987. There are ongoing studies to profile the genetic composition of historic and current Northern Cricket Frog populations, to help determine potential source animals for reintroduction into their former Canadian range. Summary of Recovery Activities The Toronto Zoo received several Northern Cricket Frogs from Ohio in 1999, and since that time has developed and maintained a successful breeding program. Discussions on priority conservation projects, including potential reintroduction on Pelee Island, Ontario, are ongoing. A Multipurpose Wetland and Prairie Restoration project is underway on Pelee Island and includes many community outreach activities to increase community awareness and involvement. A Wetland and Savanna Restoration project also is being established on the island and is directed towards several of the endangered species within that habitat. It aims at restoring the natural habitat of the Northern Cricket Frog by creating a higher quality habitat which expands into adjacent marginal farmlands. The restored wetland habitat is intended to be used as a reintroduction site for the Northern Cricket Frog. URLsToronto Zoo: Blanchard’s (Northern) Cricket Frog:http://www.torontozoo.com/Conservation/reptiles.aspEnvironment Canada: Great Lakes Facts Sheet: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog:http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/factsheets/fs_amphibians-e.htmlEnvironment Canada: Habitat Stewardship Program:http://www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/hsp-pih/default.asp?lang=En&n=59BF488F-1
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
6 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Blanchard's Cricket Frog (2011-12-08)This small frog is widespread, but declining rapidly, in the U.S. In Canada, it is known only from extreme southwest Ontario. There have been no confirmed records in Canada since the early 1970s despite frequent searches. However, there have been unconfirmed reports of the species as recently as the mid-1990s. Consequently, it is slightly possible that the species still exists in Canada. Threats to this frog include destruction and alteration of its habitat and effects of pesticides, herbicides and other contaminants.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.