This species is found throughout most of the northern, central and eastern parts of Europe, eastwards to Siberia (Yakutia and Baikal Lake), Russia and Xinjiang Province, China. It is no longer believed to be present in Serbia and the original records were probably in error (Kalezic and Dzukic 2001). It is typically a lowland species, but can occur at altitudes close to 1,500 m asl (Altai Mountains).
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in a wide variety of habitats including tundra, forest tundra, forest, forest steppe, steppe, forest edges and glades, semi-desert, swamps, peatlands, moorlands, meadows, fields, bush lands, gardens. It has a breeding season, and spawning and larval development takes place in various stagnant water bodies of low acidity, including lakes, ponds, swamps, puddles and ditches. There is some evidence that the species can occur in agricultural landscapes, and in some areas it appears to be adapting to urban conditions (e.g. Vershinin 1997).
It is generally common, and is abundant in central-eastern Europe. It is extinct in Switzerland in the extreme southwestern part of its wide range. It is considered to be rare and declining in China.
It is threatened by the destruction and pollution of breeding ponds (including acidification) and adjacent wetland and terrestrial habitats, especially through urbanization, recreation, tourism, industry and overstocking of cattle. Additional threats are prolonged drought and predation of spawn by waterfowl. Chytrid fungus was detected in this species in Berlin, Germany - however the extent to which this is a threat is unknown.
It is listed on Appendix II of the Berne Convention and on Annex IV of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. It is protected by national legislation in many countries and has been recorded in a number of national and sub-national Red Data books and lists. It is presumed to be present in a many protected areas. In parts of the species' range, mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been established.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
The intraspecific systematics of this species need further study. Animals from the Altai Mountains have for a long time been considered as a separate subspecies of Rana arvalis or as the species Rana altaica. This has largely been on the basis of their shorter shins and large inner metatarsal tubercle. Similar frogs have since been found in other parts of the range of Rana arvalis (e.g.. In the north of European Russia and in the Urals) and in Siberia some animals display transient characters between Rana arvalis and the Altaic taxon. Until this taxonomic issue is fully resolved we include Rana altaica within Rana arvalis.
Kuzmin, S., Tarkhnishvili, D., Ishchenko, V., Tuniyev, B., Beebee, T., Anthony, B.P., Schmidt, B., Ogrodowczyk, A., Ogielska, M., Babik, W., Vogrin, M., Loman, J., Cogalniceanu, D., Kovács, T. & Kiss, I. 2009. Rana arvalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T58548A86232114. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T58548A11800564.en