This lowland species is restricted to western Albania and southern Montenegro at elevations below 500m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It has been reported from heavily vegetated aquatic habitats including ditches, swamps, marshes, the edges of slow-flowing rivers and the shoreline of Lake Skadar. Breeding, and larval development, takes place in these wetland habitats. It is not known if the species can successfully adapt to habitat modification.
There is no information on the population status of this species.
The major threat is drainage of wetland habitats and aquatic pollution of many waterways caused by agrochemical and industrial (including mining) contaminants. In the northern parts of its range (e.g. Lake Skadar) it is significantly threatened by over collection for commercial purposes. An additional threat is the accidental introduction of commercially transported non-native water frogs.
It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. 'Green frogs', including R. shqiperica, are not protected by law in Yugoslavia (Kalezic and Dzukic 2001; Ljubisavljevic, Dzukic and Kalezic 2003). The species is present in the Lake Skadar protected area, on the border of Montenegro and Albania.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Although Schneider and Haxhiu (1994) had difficulty distinguishing the voice of Pelophylaxa shqipericus from that of P. lessonae, morphology, allozymes, mtDNA sequences, and crossing experiments all indicate that P. shqipericus is very distinct from P. lessonae. Its relationships with other western Palearctic water frogs are less clear (T. Uzzell pers. comm.). This species does not make hybridogenetic hybrids (Guerrini et al. 1997).
Thomas Uzzell, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic 2009. Pelophylax shqipericus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T58715A11829016. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T58715A11829016.en .Downloaded on 14 November 2018