Conservation of the Agile Frog — the Rarest Amphibian in the British Isles?

L. Racca


In Jersey, the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) has declined to a single small population that is displaying erratic breeding success. Survival of eggs from hatching to metamorphosis can vary from 0 to 20% per year. This gives rise to pulses in recruitment which are reflected in the age structures of adult frogs. Variations in recruitment — and the resulting population fluctuations — may be related to the predatory invertebrates in the breeding pools, which in turn are related to hydroperiod. Microsatellite DNA analyses were employed to evaluate genetic problems within the Jersey population of frogs. Samples collected from frog populations from mainland Europe were also been used, to compare the DNA profiles of frogs from Jersey and France. An indication of the level of population management that is likely to be needed in the future emerged from the genetic analyses and the analysis of field data. Captive breeding will have an essential role in the long term conservation of Rana dalmatina in Jersey.


agile frog; conservation; ecology; Jersey; microsatellite DNA; population dynamics; Rana dalmatina

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