Pacific Chorus Frog

Local Streams

The best way to protect the Pacific chorus frog is by protecting their habitat, which includes forests, streams and small ponds for breeding.

Spring Time Brings a Commonly Heard Amphibian:
The Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla)

One of the first memorable signs of spring is the singing of frogs in the evening. The Pacific chorus frog, also known as the Pacific tree frog, is the most abundant frog species in the Pacific Northwest. These frogs come in many colors of greens and brown and have a characteristic black eye stripe. The adults grow to about one to two inches long. Sometimes as early as January, and through the month of May, you may hear frogs calling. During the peak of the breeding season, large numbers of male chorus frogs gather around our wetlands and ponds to sing for mates. These vocalizations are called “advertisement” calls, and their primary purpose is to attract females. As the male chorus frog calls, female chorus frogs will select their preferred mate. It is believed that female chorus frogs prefer males that make their “advertisement” call more frequently than other males.

Once the selection process is complete, females will swim into the water and lay eggs on pond vegetation and the male will fertilize the eggs. A single female can lay up to 1,250 eggs per year. Eggs are generally laid in clusters of 100 and take several days to hatch. Upon hatching, these tiny tadpoles are at risk of being a tasty meal to snakes, birds and fish. Evolution has resulted in multiple strategies for tadpole survival. Tadpoles can detect their predators and have defensive responses allowing them to escape, as well as the ability to detect if their pond is drying up, so that they can accelerate their development and metamorphose from tadpole to frog.

While the Pacific chorus frog has remained abundant over most of its range, declines in populations are being observed. These declines are due to the destruction of habitat and to the introduction of non-native or exotic species, such as bullfrogs and bass. These non-native species prey upon the native species as well as competing with them for food and habitat. The best way to protect the Pacific chorus frog is by protecting their habitat, which includes forests, streams and small ponds for breeding. Small ephemeral (seasonal) ponds provide good breeding habitat for chorus frogs while often excluding the non-native bullfrog. So, the little wet areas in your landscapes may be prime breeding ground for these tiny, but vocal native frogs!