Cascades frogs inhabit mountain meadows, bogs, ponds, or potholes above 2,400 feet elevation. They require access to clean, permanent water sources. Cascades frogs lay eggs in slow-moving water, at shallow, sunny edges of ponds, or on low vegetation near ponds where warm sunlight speeds egg development. Larvae may “school” in large masses.
This montane species is vulnerable to genetic isolation. It has experienced substantial reductions in the southern parts of its range, particularly in California. Cascades frogs are potentially sensitive to waterborne pathogens. Water availability (changes in snow pack/melt), sedimentation (livestock grazing/watering), and predation and competition by introduced fish are additional threats.
Investigate habitat requirements and how they vary by elevation across the species' range. Identify habitat characteristics that could enhance migration and gene flow. Describe feeding habits. Evaluate the effects of pathogens and airborne environmental pollution on this species. Explore the feasibility of reintroduction at historically occupied sites.
Maintain habitat connectivity. Monitor and address impacts of fish stocking and poor water quality. Carefully manage livestock grazing in occupied wet meadows. Use prescribed burning or hand-felling of trees periodically to manage plant succession. If reintroductions are warranted, use individuals from nearby sites and consult results of feasibility studies. Conservation actions in Oregon are particularly valuable given reductions in other parts of the range.