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Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)



American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) may be found throughout Wisconsin in any permanent body of water - lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks, although they have a patchy distribution. In Wisconsin, bullfrogs appear to favor oligotrophic to mesotrophic waters, often breeding where dense submergent vegetation filters out the majority of the suspended solids. Adult bullfrogs overwinter in water to avoid freezing and are active from April through mid-October. They breed from mid-May through late July or later. Larvae overwinter before transforming the following year or, or in rare situations, in their second full year. This species is not actively tracked in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database, but it could be tracked in the future if there is further evidence of its decline.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Lithobates catesbeianus is not tracked by the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory Program at this time (this species is not on the NHI Working List).
Summary Information
State Statusnone
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS3S4
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIW

Species guidance

A guidance document is not available at this time. Use the information from the other tabs and contact local biologists, as needed, to develop management and avoidance strategies.




American Bullfrog


Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

American Bullfrog


Photo by Rori Paloski, WDNR.

American Bullfrog


Photo by Drew Feldkirchner, WDNR.

American Bullfrog

Bullfrog with northern leopard frog.

Photo © Randy Korb.

American Bullfrog

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Last revised: Thursday, October 08, 2020