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European tree frog

Description 

The European tree frog (Hyla arborea) is a small amphibian, with smooth and luminous skin characterized by a vivid green colouration of the back. A narrow brown stripe extends from the nostrils over the eyes and the eardrum along the flank. It can adjust the colour of the body from green, grey to brown due to the colour of the environment, mood, habitat temperature, light or moisture. The tips of fingers and toes are expanded into discs which allow her to skilfully climb branches, shrubs, trees or reeds and similar tall plants. It is most active during the day, with only vocalizing and mating taking place after the sunset. They often linger in shrubs and tree canopies where males can climb even a few meters high, hide and predate on insects. European tree frogs sexually mature between the ages of one and two. Despite their small size, they are very loud because the choir of males can sometimes be heard for a few hundred meters away. European tree frogs tend to hibernate on land and do not move more than 300 meters away from the breeding sites.

European tree frog (Foto: Aja Zamolo)

Habitat

European tree frogs live on forest edges, hedgerows and meadows with higher vegetation for most of the year. During the mating period, they can be found in smaller fish-free ponds with plenty of aquatic vegetation.

Threats

The species is threatened by the rapid loss of suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. As the European tree frog is very sensitive to changes in water quality, agricultural intensification and the pollution of water by pesticides, fertilizers and municipal sewage are among the most important risk factors. Drying up of aquatic habitats and urbanization of the landscape has a negative impact on populations. They are also at risk of introducing fish in water bodies that actively prey on eggs and larvae.