European common brown frog

Rana temporaria


Планинска жаба


Bretkosa e malit

Back to species overview
<< Previous -Common fire salamander
Greek stream frog-Next >>
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 temporaria


Linnaeus, 1758


Rana aragonensis Planca Soler, Rodriguez Vieites & Suarez Martinez, 1995; Rana honnorati Héron-Royer, 1881; Rana muta Laurenti, 1768; Rana platyrrhinus Steenstrup, 1847

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

EN – Endangered, B2ab(ii,iii)c(ii,iii)

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The European Common Frog is widespread across North Macedonia, but it is nevertheless very patchily distributed due to its dependency on high-altitude forests and pastures, resulting with quite a limited area of occupancy (AOO) of only 236km2. Moreover, throughout this area populations are threatened with fragmentation due to the degradation of forests, bush groves and meadows, and the drainage and pollution of wetlands. This amphibian is also threatened from the construction and seemingly uncontrolled function of mini hydro-electric power plants that often fail to provide the ecological water level minimum in the amphibian breeding centers it affects. Such threats cause fluctuations in AOO and habitat quality. The Common European Frog can be found in all neighboring countries, but in this part of the Balkans it is limited to high-altitude habitats, thus regional rescue effects without human intervention are most likely impossible. Nevertheless, AOO values may well be underestimated, since the species can easily inhabit larger portions of the mountains it inhabits, but unlikely to more than 2.000km2. Consequently, the national populations of this frog have been assessed as Endangered. 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 Nevertheless, preliminary monitoring studies indicate a declining population trend, nationally (unpublished data). The mountain ranges inhabited by the European Common Frog in North Macedonia always border each other at altitudes lower than the minimum altitude at which the species has been observed in the country, i.e. 1.450m asl (eg. Šar-Korab massif and Bistra mt have the highest border point at ~1.300m asl over a span of only ~1km), thus its national populations are considered severely fragmented.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

Many terrestrial (associated with woodland) and aquatic habitat types are used. Present in coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests, wet meadows, marshes on high mountain pastures. Aquatic habitats include both temporary and permanent ponds, high mountain lakes and mountain rivers; spawning and larval development occurs in these water bodies. It does well in many modified habitats such as rural gardens. When not breeding this species lives a solitary life in the grass along river beds. The European Common Frog is active from mid-March until beginning of October. Activity can be delayed and shortened at high altitudes. Starting mid April until mid-September, which is the case for most Macedonian populations. Reproduction starts in late spring or early summer. Females lay between 1,000 and 2,000 eggs which float in large clusters near the surface of the water.

Use and trade

Use and trade

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



Loss of suitable habitat, resulting from forest fires, wetland drainage, construction of dams and especially the construction and function of mini hydro power plants pose serious threats to this species, as they compromise the ecological water level minimum necessary for reproduction.
Fungal threats Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans were recently detected in the Balkan Peninsula. These cause the disease known as  Chytridiomycosis (Whittaker and Vredenburg, 2016) in 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 defense, 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 III of the Berne Convention and on Annex V of the EU Birds & Habitats Directive. This species is not protected by national legislation.
According to the “Strategy for biodiversity of Republic of North Macedonia” (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018) swamps, particularly high-altitude swamps 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” prioritizes the following actions (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018):
o   10.4 Protection and restoration of swamp habitats/wetlands and riparian habitats
o   10.4.1 Identification of the most affected lowland swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation
o   10.4.2 Identification of the most affected high-altitude swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation
o   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
o   10.4.4 Implementation of pilot measures for the restoration of wetlands.



Sillero, N., Campos, J., Bonardi, A., Corti, C., Creemers, R., Crochet, P.-A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Denoël, M., Ficetola, G.F., Gonçalves, J., Kuzmin, S., Lymberakis, P., de Pous, P., Rodríguez, A., Sindaco, R., Speybroeck, J., Toxopeus, B., Vieites, D.R., Vences, M. 2014 Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe . .p 1-31.

Sterijovski, B. 2015. Conservation and protection status of amphibians in Macedonia Pelagic Publishing Exeter, UK. .p 67-73.

Doflein, F. 1921. Mazedonien, Erlebnisse und beobachtungen eines Naturforschers im gefolge des Deutschen heeres Verlang von Gustav Fischer Jena . .p592.

Fejervary G. -1922. The batrachians and reptiles collected by Mr. E.Csiki in the Northern parts of Central Albania and in Servia. . .p 7-65.

Džukić, G. 1972. Herpetološka zbirka Prirodnjačkog muzeja u Beogradu. (Herpetological collection of the Belgrade Museum of Natural History).. .p 165-180.

Kopstein, F. & Wettstein, O. -1921. Reptilien und Amphibien aus Albanien . .p 387 -457.

Sterijovski, B., Stamatoski, B., Jovanoski, N., Spasikova, S. 2002a. Qualitative research of herpetofauna of Jakupica Massif . .p 151-154.

Sterijovski, B., Aleksovska, K., Tasevski, S. 2010b. Distribution and valorization of amphibians and reptiles on Jablanica Mountain . .p 81-85.

Sterijovski, B., Malceska, F., Tokov, T., Stamatoski, B., Tasevski, S. 2010a. Qualitative research of Amphibians and Reptiles on Kozuf massive. .p 87-93.

Oxfam Italia. 2011. Study for revalorization of Protected Area Mavrovo Skopje . .p/.

Uhrin et al. 2016. Distribution updates to amphibian and reptile fauna for the Republic of Macedonia . .p 201-220.

Ministry of environment and physical planning. 2018. National biodiversity strategy and action plan : for the period 2018 – 2023. Ministry of environment and physical planning. Skopje. .p 183.

Whittaker, Kellie & Vredenburg, Vance .2016. “An Overview of Chytridiomycosis”
Pounds, A. 2006. Widespread Amphibian Extinctions from Epidemic Disease Driven by Global Warming . .p 161-167.

Davidson, C., Benard, M.F., Shaffer, H.B., Parker, J.M., O’Leary, C., Conlon, J.M., Rollins-Smith, L.A. 2007. Effects of chytrid and carbaryl exposure on survival, growth and skin peptide defenses in foothill yellow-legged frogs . .p 1771-1776.

Gasc, J-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.L., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M., Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica & Museum Nationall d’ Histoire Naturelle (IEGB/SPN). Paris . .p 496.