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The Northern Leopard Frog is usually green, or sometimes brownish. It has dark spots surrounded by distinct light borders, and an unmarked, milky-white underside. Newly hatched tadpoles are slender and black.

The Northern Leopard Frog's call is a long drawn-out rattling snore, usually ending with several rapid short grunts.

Length: Newly hatched tadpole, 8 mm (0.3 in); Adult (snout-to-vent), 5 to 11 cm (1.9 to 4.3 in)

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Northern Leopard Frogs are found in the South Slave Region of the NWT. They are uncommon in the NWT, having only been found near the Slave, Taltson and Tazin rivers.

Northern Leopard Frogs, like most amphibians in the NWT, are at the northern-most limit of their range. Connectivity between the NWT population and populations in southern Canada is uncertain.

Range map information

The Northern Leopard Frog breeds in lakes, ponds, marshes and flooded areas of streams. Summer ranges include meadows and grasslands. Northern Leopard Frogs over-winter in the unfrozen bottoms of rivers and lakes.

The number of Northern Leopard Frogs has declined in large parts of western Canada since 1980. The range in the NWT is not well known but there is evidence that the occupied range in the NWT may have shrunk since the late 1980s. The cause of population and range changes remains unknown.

Potential threats in the Northwest Territories include: diseases (e.g. ranavirus and chytrid fungus), loss or modification of wetland habitats from human activities, accidental human-caused mortality, environmental contaminants, and increasing UV-B radiation. Multiple threats, such as disease, habitat change and UV-B radiation, can have complex and interacting effects.

In 2013, the NWT Species at Risk Committee assessed Northern Leopard Frog as Threatened in the NWT because of its small range, shrinking range and declining population. In 2015, Northern Leopard Frog was listed as Threatened in the NWT under the territorial Species at Risk (NWT) Act. An NWT Amphibian Management Plan is available here. A progress report on implementation (2017-2021) is available here.

A guide to amphibians and reptiles of the NWT is available at or by contacting

COSEWIC assessed Northern Leopard Frog as a species of Special Concern in Canada in 1998, 2002 and 2009. The species was listed as Special Concern in Canada under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2005. A national management plan has been completed and is available on the federal Species at Risk Public Registry.

South Slave
Progress Reports