This species is endemic to the island of Crete, Greece, where it is patchily distributed in the lowlands over a wide area generally below 100m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is associated with wetlands including slow-moving rivers and streams, lakes and marshes. Breeding and larval development presumably take place in these waterbodies.
It does not appear to be particularly abundant, and is especially difficult to find in dry years.
The loss of aquatic habitats is the principal threat to this species. Extraction of stream water in the uplands for agricultural irrigation (for bananas) leaves many lowland reaches dry during the summer months. Additional habitat loss may be occurring through infrastructure and tourism development. It might be impacted by the introduction of Lithobates catesbeiana.
The species is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Although it occurs in many protected areas, several are not well protected or managed for biodiversity conservation. Further research into the population status and distribution of this species is urgently needed.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered, because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2 and area of occupancy is less than 500 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
The species status of Pelophylax cretensis is "confirmed" by short mtDNA sequences and a large number of private allozyme alleles not found in any other water frog (P. Beerli pers. comm.).
Peter Beerli, Thomas Uzzell, Petros Lymberakis 2009. Pelophylax cretensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T58581A11788512. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T58581A11788512.en .Downloaded on 21 January 2019