Greek stream frog

Rana graeca


Поточна жаба


Bretkosa e perrenjeve

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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 graeca


Boulenger, 1891



Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

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

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The Greek Stream Frog is widespread across North Macedonia, but is nevertheless limited to its suitable habitats of forest and high-mountain streams and rivers (generally), thus its area of occupancy (AOO) is more limited, but could easily be an underestimation. Throughout its AOO populations are threatened with fragmentation due to the degradation of forests, bush groves and meadows, and the drainage and pollution of wetlands. Most of all, this amphibian is 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 latest monitoring studies revealed extreme fluctuations and continuing declines in populations sizes due to lack of control over small hydro-electric power plant function. Furthermore, this species faces the same threats in all neighboring countries (particularly intense attempts at establishing mini hydro-electric power plants), thus despite its presence there and despite a possibly underestimated AOO, it would likely not benefit from regional rescue effects, which finally imposes the Near Threatened assessment. 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 Nevertheless, preliminary monitoring studies indicate a declining population trend, nationally (unpublished data) and possible fragmentation.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

This is a largely aquatic species associated with cold, small, clear rivers, streams and springs, often located in shady deciduous and mixed forest. It may also occur in moors and meadows, and around glacial pools in lakes. Breeding and larval development takes place in these water bodies. It is presumed that the species can tolerate slight habitat modification. The Agile 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. Reproduction starts in mid-April or May (in mountainous regions reproduction was observed in the beginning of June).

Use and trade

Use and trade

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



A major threat to this species is the loss of suitable habitat, resulting from forest fires, wetland drainage, construction of dams, etc. It is also affected in some places by pollution.

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; 2003b). 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.

Finally and unfortunately, 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 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 Annex IV of the EU Birds & Habitats Directive and Appendix III of the Bern Convention. 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).

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” 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



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