European tree frog

Hyla arborea


Лисна жаба / гаталинка



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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

Hyla arborea


(Linnaeus, 1758)



Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

NT, B2ab(ii,iii,iv)c(ii,iii,iv)

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


Habitat degradation has caused reductions and fluctuations in area of occupancy (1.816 km²), locations and subpopulations, and has also come in the way of migratory routes between reproductive centres. Nevertheless, the European Tree Frog is present in all neighboring countries in various habitats, thus it can benefit from regional rescue effects and has consequently been assessed as Near Threatened. Globally and in Europe, this species is assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



This species is considered common in suitable habitats in North Macedonia. Several monitoring studies (using line transects; Buckland et al. 1993) conducted during the past four years in the frame of environmental impact assessment (EIA) activities in the Skopje, Strumica, Radovis and Shtip regions suggest that this species’ population trends across North Macedonia are decreasing and possibly on their way to becoming severely fragmented.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

This species is generally associated with open, well-illuminated broad-leaved and mixed forests, bush and shrub lands, meadows, gardens, vineyards, orchards, parks, lake shores and low riparian vegetation. Dark and dense forests are avoided. Populations can tolerate periods of dryness and can be encountered in dry habitats. The species has also been reported from man-made landscapes, including large cities (e.g., Skopje). The European Tree Frog is active form mid March until early October. Activity is usually delayed and shortened at higher altitudes from mid April mid September. Reproduction period stars in beginning of April. Spawning and larval development takes place in stagnant waters such as lakes, ponds, swamps and reservoirs, and sometimes in ditches and puddles.

Use and trade

Use and trade

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



The species is quite sensitive to changes in habitat, including loss and fragmentation of forests, bush groves and meadows (with the isolation of populations), and the drainage and pollution of wetlands (industrial and agricultural) and predatory fish species. Also, habitat destruction due to urbanization, road construction, constructing the small hydro-electric power plants and discharge of pollutants into wetlands. The major threat period is in the Spring time when the migratory routes to the reproductive centres are endangered by traffic and road construction. According to Sterijovski B. (2014) modification and fragmentation of habitats, especially surrounding the reproductive centres, has been a historical threat that remains today as well. 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).

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, 2016in 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

It is listed on Appendix II of the Berne Convention and is listed on Annex IV of the EU Birds & Habitats Directive. Nationally, it is on the list of the protected wild species of North Macedonia (Official gazette No.139. 2011). In parts of this species’ range, within various EIA studies mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been recommended. 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 frog’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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