Has the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) Declined in Western Ottawa, Ontario?


  • David C. Seburn Seburn Ecological Services, 2710 Clarenda Street, Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7S5
  • Kari Gunson Eco-Kare International, 644 Bethune Street, Peterborough, Ontario K9H 4A3




Western Chorus Frog, Pseudacris triseriata, amphibian decline, Ottawa, Ontario


To determine whether the Western Chorus Frog has declined in western Ottawa, we conducted auditory surveys at historical locations as well as at various other wetlands. Western Chorus Frogs were detected at 12 of 18 historical locations. Wetland habitat remained at all historical locations where the species was not detected. There was no difference in the year of historical records for sites where Western Chorus Frogs were (median 1987.5) and were not (median 1987.5) detected. In the present study, Western Chorus Frogs were also detected at 30 locations where they had not been previously reported. Historical sites where Western Chorus Frogs were not detected were not significantly farther away from known Western Chorus Frog sites (median distance: 2.2 km) than historical sites where Western Chorus Frogs were detected (median distance: 1.4 km). Land use variables for historical sites where Western Chorus Frogs were and were not detected did not vary significantly at any spatial scale from 0.5 to 2.0 km. Western Chorus Frogs were detected in areas with up to 50% forest cover and up to 86% agricultural cover at the 1.0-km radius. The lack of historical data makes it difficult to assess the current status of the Western Chorus Frog in western Ottawa. The species may have declined, remained approximately the same (by shifting to different breeding sites), or even increased its distribution (by colonizing additional sites).