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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

Mink Frog (Lithobates septentrionalis)



Mink Frog (Lithobates septentrionalis), a species of Special Concern, prefers rivers and lakes with bog shoreline habitats. They are a shoreline-dependent species but also forage on and around floating mats of vegetation away from the shoreline in the littoral zone. They may sometimes be found in permanent waters where no bog characteristics exist, although they are usually associated with tannin-stained waters. Mink frogs overwinter in water to avoid freezing. They are active from April through October and breed form June through July. Larvae overwinter before transforming the following summer.

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 Mink Frog (Lithobates septentrionalis). 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.

Documented locations of Lithobates septentrionalis in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/H
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS3
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

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.




Mink Frog

Mink Frog

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Mink Frog

Photo by Robert Hay, WDNR.

Mink Frog

Photo © Dan Nedrelo.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Mink Frog. Only natural communities for which Mink Frog is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Mink Frog. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Mink Frog occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

Ecological LandscapeCommunity
North Central Forest Emergent Marsh
North Central Forest Muskeg
North Central Forest Open Bog
North Central Forest Submergent Marsh
North Central Forest Coolwater streams
North Central Forest Large Lake--deep, hard, seepage
North Central Forest Large Lake--deep, soft+, seepage
North Central Forest Large Lake--shallow, hard+, drainage
North Central Forest Large Lake--shallow, hard, seepage
North Central Forest Large Lake--shallow, soft, seepage
North Central Forest Riverine Impoundment - Reservoirs
North Central Forest Small Lake--meromictic
North Central Forest Small Lake--other
North Central Forest Spring Pond, Lake--Spring
North Central Forest Warmwater rivers
North Central Forest Warmwater streams
Northeast Sands Coolwater streams
Northern Highland Emergent Marsh
Northern Highland Muskeg
Northern Highland Open Bog
Northern Highland Submergent Marsh
Northern Highland Coolwater streams
Northern Highland Large Lake--deep, hard, seepage
Northern Highland Large Lake--deep, soft+, seepage
Northern Highland Large Lake--shallow, soft, drainage
Northern Highland Small Lake--other
Northern Highland Spring Pond, Lake--Spring
Northern Highland Warmwater rivers
Northern Highland Warmwater streams
Northwest Lowlands Open Bog
Northwest Lowlands Small Lake--hard, bog
Northwest Lowlands Warmwater rivers
Superior Coastal Plain Emergent Marsh
Superior Coastal Plain Open Bog
Superior Coastal Plain Submergent Marsh
Superior Coastal Plain Coolwater streams
Superior Coastal Plain Warmwater streams

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, December 22, 2022