Common toad

Bufo bufo


Крастава жаба



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Not evaluated Data deficient LEAST CONCERN Near threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Bufo bufo


(Linnaeus, 1758)


Rana bufo Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

LC – Least Concern

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for a NT category. Globally and in Europe, it has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



Field observations indicate that the Common Toad’s populations within North Macedonia are seemingly stable and are not severely fragmented.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

This is a widespread and adaptable species present in coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests, groves, bush lands, meadows, arid areas, parks and gardens. It is usually present in damp areas with dense vegetation, while large open areas are generally avoided. The species spawns and larval development takes place in still waters and slow-moving parts of rivers and streams. It is present in many modified habitats. At low elevations this species lives in deciduous forests, at higher altitudes it is more often found in deciduous as well as coniferous forests and highland glades. The species uses many types of wetlands, including lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers, stream pools, springs (including mineral and thermal springs), puddles, reservoirs, gravel and clay pits, ditches and even water filled wheel ruts. The breeding habitats are typically not shaded temporary pools and slow running parts of streams and rivers within, or close to, woodland. The species can tolerate slight water pollution. The Common Toad is active from beginning of March (in lowland populations) until the beginning of October. At higher altitudes the active period can be delayed and shortened to mid April until mid September depending of the climatic conditions. Reproduction starts in mid March until the beginning of April in lowland populations and late spring or early summer in the highland populations. The clutch size can be more than 8000 eggs (Tomasevic et al. 2008) that are left in the water in gelatinous egg strings that can be up to 3 meters long. This species is usually active at dusk and can walk long distances while hunting insects and other invertebrates. It is most active in wet rainy weather.

Use and trade

Use and trade

There is no confirmed use and trade of this species in N. Macedonia.



The Common Toad is mainly threatened by habitat degradation due to the development of infrastructure, construction of hydro-power plants as well as the discharge of pollutants into wetlands. These threats to the species’ reproductive centres are both historical and current (Sterijovski 2014). Moreover, climate change can pose serious threats to this species, particularly if it affects some of its refugia such as Taor Gorge, Treska River Gorge, Crna River, along with the gorges of Raec and Blasnica Rivers, then Jama, Mavrovo-Radika region, Mt. Baba, the Ohrid-Prespa region, and the mountain range of Nidze and Kozuf (MoEPP 2003a,b).

Finally and unfortunately, the fungal threats Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans were recently detected in the Balkan Peninsula. These cause the disease known as  Chytridiomycosis (Whittaker and Vredenburg, 2016) in amphibians. Studies have shown that climate change facilitates the spread of this disease (Pounds, A. 2006), and scientist suggest that pesticides may inhibit the innate immune defence, and increase susceptibility to this disease (Davidson et al. 2007). This calls for urgent preventative matters, primarily in the form of monitoring so that initial signs of the fungus in North Macedonia are caught timely and quarantined.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

The species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention. It is protected by national legislation as it is on the List of protected wild species of North Macedonia (Official gazette No.139. 2011). Appropriate habitat management is needed to maintain wetlands and prevent succession to scrub and woodland. Life-history trait variation should be monitored against variation in threats and pressures. Life-history trait variation should be monitored against variation in threats and pressures.

According to the “Strategy for biodiversity of Republic of North Macedonia” (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018) swamps, particularly high-altitude swaps are affected by degradation as a result of land conversion due to the intensification of agriculture, water supply shortage, irrigation, fish stocking, lack of waste water treatment and construction activities. Action plans for the conservation of this toad’s reproductive centres, i.e. wetlands are urgently needed.

The national action for the “prevention of loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats of national and international importance” prioritises the following actions (National biodiversity strategy and action plan, 2018):

  • 10.4 Protection and restoration of swamp habitats/wetlands and riparian habitats

  • 10.4.1 Identification of the most affected lowland swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation

  • 10.4.2 Identification of the most affected high-altitude swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation

  • 10.4.3 Development of a plan and implementation of activities for the prevention of swamp and wetland degradation due to intensification of agriculture, irrigation, fish stocking and other activities of the economic sectors

  • 10.4.4 Implementation of pilot measures for the restoration of wetlands



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