Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Jason T. Irwin

Second Committee Member

Daniel Beck

Third Committee Member

R. Steven Wagner


This thesis begins with overview of amphibian declines, amphibians in the Pacific Northwest, and information about ranid overwintering. The second part of the study presents my research that tracked Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) throughout the winter at a high-elevation site in Washington. Amphibians are declining around the world and little is known about their natural history. There are few overwintering studies on amphibians and no previous overwintering studies on Cascades frogs. Cascades frogs are declining throughout the southern portion of their range and an understanding of the basic ecology and biology of this species is urgently needed to prevent their decline in the Pacific Northwest. Radio tracking methods were used to monitor overwintering Cascades frogs at a wetland complex at (1760 m) on Table Mt. in the Wenatchee National Forest. Two winters of observation and laboratory tests indicated Cascades frogs at this study site were not freeze tolerant and overwinter aquatically in a spring from October to May. Cascades frogs of all life stages were found overwintering in a single site, which suggests that the presence of adequate overwintering habitat could dictate the regional abundance of montane amphibians.