Agile frog

Rana dalmatina


Шумска жаба


Bretkosa kërcimtare

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Not evaluated Data deficient Least concern NEAR THREATENED Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Rana dalmatina


Bonaparte, 1840


Rana agilis Thomas, 1855

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

NT, B2b(ii,iii,iv)c(ii,iii,iv)

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The Agile Frog is widespread across North Macedonia, but is nevertheless limited to its suitable habitats of forest streams and rivers (generally), thus its area of occupancy is more limited (AOO = 1.592 km²). Its habitats are facing serious threats, especially the aquatic breeding centres making the species particularly prone to fluctuations in area of occupancy. The latest monitoring studies revealed extreme fluctuations and continuing declines in populations sizes due to lack of control over small hydro-electric power plant function. Nevertheless, the Agile Frog is very widespread in North Macedonia (its extent of occurrence = 25.208 km²) and its area of occupancy is likely an underestimate; additionally, it can be found in all neighboring countries, thus it can benefit from regional rescue effects. Consequently, it was assessed as Near Threatened. Globally and in Europe this species has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



This species is considered common in suitable habitats in North Macedonia. Nevertheless, preliminary monitoring studies indicate a declining population trend, nationally (unpublished data) and possible fragmentation. Throughout the improper work of small hydro power plants the fluctuations and continuous decline of this species is observed.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

It is found in glades and open sites within light deciduous woodland (oak, beech, hornbeam etc.), and less frequent in meadows and thickets. It generally does not occur on pastures, arable areas or in coniferous forests. The Agile Frog is active from mid March until beginning of October. Activity can be delayed and shortened at higher altitudes within elevation range.starting mid-April until mid-September. Reproduction starts in the beginning or mid-March and on higher altitudes in the beginning of April depending on weather conditions. It spawns in small wetlands (pools, fens and marshes, ditches) within forests and at their edges. The spawn clumps consist of 400, up to 1000 eggs that are usually attached to trees near water. High levels of larval mortality have been recorded. Unlike Rana temporaria this species does spawn in one spot.

Use and trade

Use and trade

There is no confirmed use and trade of this species in N. Macedonia.



It is generally threatened by the drainage and eutrophication of breeding sites, development (and logging) of suitable habitat, and replacement of deciduous forest habitat with unsuitable coniferous species. It is locally affected by road mortality during breeding migrations.

According to Sterijovski (2015) modification and fragmentation of habitats, especially at and around the reproductive centers, has been a historical threat that remains today as well. Climate change can pose serious threats to this species, particularly if it affects some of its refugia such as Taor Gorge, Treska River Gorge, Crna River, along with the gorges of Raec and Blasnica Rivers, then Jama, Mavrovo-Radika region, Mt. Baba, the Ohrid-Prespa region, and the mountain range of Nidze and Kozuf (MoEPP 2003a; b). Recently, the construction and operational work of mini hydro power plants pose a serious threat to this species. The recent monitoring on the is showing the results of extreme fluctuations and population decline of the populations caused from the improper work and lack of control on the small hydro power plants.

The fungal threats Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans were recently detected in the Balkan Peninsula. These cause the disease known as  Chytridiomycosis (Whittaker and Vredenburg, 2016in amphibians. Studies have shown that climate change facilitates the spread of this disease (Pounds, A. 2006), and scientist suggest that pesticides may inhibit the innate immune defence, and increase susceptibility to this disease (Davidson et al. 2007). This calls for urgent preventative matters, primarily in the form of monitoring so that initial signs of the fungus in North Macedonia are caught timely and quarantined.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

It is listed on Appendix II the Bern Convention and on Appendix IV of the EU Birds & Habitats Directive. This species is protected by national legislation as it is on the list of the protected wild species of N. Macedonia (Official gazette No.139/2011). In parts of this species range, within various environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been recommended. Life-history trait variation should be monitored against variation in threats and pressures.

According to the “Strategy for biodiversity of Republic of North Macedonia” (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018 swamps, particularly high-altitude swaps are affected by degradation as a result of land conversion due to the intensification of agriculture, water supply shortage, irrigation, fish stocking, lack of waste water treatment and construction activities. Action plans for the conservation of this frog’s reproductive centers, i.e. wetlands are urgently needed.

The national action for the “prevention of loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats of national and international importance” prioritises the following actions (National biodiversity strategy and action plan, 2018):

  • 10.4 Protection and restoration of swamp habitats/wetlands and riparian habitats

  • 10.4.1 Identification of the most affected lowland swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation

  • 10.4.2 Identification of the most affected high-altitude swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation

  • 10.4.3 Development of a plan and implementation of activities for the prevention of swamp and wetland degradation due to intensification of agriculture, irrigation, fish stocking and other activities of the economic sectors

  • 10.4.4 Implementation of pilot measures for the restoration of wetlands



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