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Vulnerable animal species in Sweden: European green toad

In Sweden, there are three toad species, two of which are classified as vulnerable. The European green toad is considered the most vulnerable, as larger and reproducing populations are only found in three locations in southern Sweden*.

(*Limhamn Kalkbrott, Eskilstorp Strandängar and Utklippan in the Karlskrona archipelago)

The species is recognized by its characteristic green spots. The rest of the skin can vary from light gray to a darker brown color. They are usually between 5 cm and 8.5 cm.

The best time of day to see them is during the morning or evening when they are looking for food which consists mainly of insects. They usually spend the rest of the day in burrows in the ground.

The larger and reproducing populations in Sweden occur in wetlands near coasts, but in other parts of the world, they can also be found further inland in drier habitats. The reason why they only occur in southern Sweden is that their larvae need access to spawning ponds with high water temperatures in order for them to be able to metamorphose into adults. They are an amphibian that can handle high salinity levels, up to 20 per thousand, which is classified as brackish water. Their eggs are also salt resistant, although not as much as the toads.

It is believed that the main reason why the species has decreased in numbers is the lowering of the groundwater level, which means that their spawning grounds have time to dry out in the summer before their larvae have had time to metamorphose. Degraded water quality from emissions from the agricultural industry has also negatively affected the population.

A few years ago, the green-spotted toad was listed as critically endangered in Sweden, but thanks to an action program by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the population has managed to grow and the species is now classified as vulnerable. They have had particular success in Limhamn's limestone quarry, where today the population consists of over four hundred adult individuals.

We at Treefling care about the environment, therefore our skin care products contain only organic ingredients.

grönfläckig padda

Image credit: Скампецкий/ CC BY 3.0


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