Marsh frog

Pelophylax ridibundus


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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Pelophylax ridibundus


(Pallas, 1771)


Pelophylax ridibunda Pallas, 1771; Rana ridibunda Pallas, 1771

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

LC – Least Concern

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Ajtic, R.




Hofman, M.P.G.


Although this species is potentially threatened by the drainage of wetlands, pollution, agricultural intensification, urbanization, desertification, mortality on roads (migrating animals), and collection for food, it is still very widespread and abundant even in urban parks and ponds and therefore recognized as Least Concern. Globally and in Europe this species has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



This species is considered abundant in North Macedonia. Field observations suggest that the highest densities for the Marsh frog can be witnessed in Monospitovo marsh, Dojran Lake and Prespa Lake close to Ezerani, and its populations are likely stable nationwide.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

It is a highly opportunistic amphibian species. Widespread and adaptable, present in all types of permanent aquatic habitats, coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests, groves, bush-lands, meadows, arid areas, parks, gardens, springs, rivers and artificial and natural lakes. It is present in many modified habitats. It is also common within and in the vicinity of urban, suburban and rural areas. Its diet consist of dragonflies and other insects, spiders, earthworms and slugs. The Marsh 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 late spring or early summer. The species spawns and larval development takes place in still waters and slow-moving parts of rivers and streams.

Use and trade

Use and trade

This species is hunted for food in Skopje, Kocani, Dojran and Gevgelija regions.



Habitat destruction due to urbanization, road construction, constructing the small hydro-electric power plants and discharge of pollutants into wetlands pose potential threats to this species. Nevertheless, this is a highly adaptive frog that can inhabit urban and semi-urban habitats and withstand pollution.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and on Annex V of the EU Birds & Habitats Directive. Nationally, it is not on the list of the protected wild species of flora and fauna.

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” 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

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.



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