Agile frog (Rana dalmatina)

In Izki

The agile frog is a common inhabitant of Izki, where it occupies forest areas with fallen leaves all year round and areas which are damp during the reproduction season. The densities of this amphibian in Izki are notable at a regional level which is why the conservation of its habitats is especially relevant.

Among fallen leaves

A species of Southern Europe with an ample distribution, from the centre and south of the continent to the Caucasus and the Urals. In the Iberian Peninsula its distribution is only concentrated in certain enclaves of the Basque Autonomous Region and Navarre.

A terrestrial amphibian with preference for fallen leaves and the understory of deciduous forest. During its reproduction period (February and March) it occupies the submerged bodies of water in forest areas or its surroundings. These damp areas are characteristic because they are of a certain entity, stable and with well developed marsh vegetation which allows for the acceptance of the eggs.

The first metamorphosed larvae appear at the end of May but it is throughout June when the metamorphosis occurs in general. Sexual maturity is reached by the males two years later and the females at the age of three. Their activity is preferably at twilight or nocturnal although they can be observed during the day during the reproductive season but under good humid conditions. The adult diet is based on beetles, gastropods, insect larvae and arachnids, the young adults is made up of springtails, isopods, flies and arachnids, the larvae feed on algae, spermatophytes and detritus. Its natural enemies are some reptiles, owls (barn owl and tawny owl) and some mammals like the European polecat.

The main threat that amphibians currently face is the alteration, reduction and destruction of its habitats, specifically its reproduction habitat, above all in relation with the larvae, very susceptible to contaminating products in the water such as nitrogen fertilizers, which seem to be contributing to the decline of the amphibians. In the case of the agile frog this problem is aggravated because of the lack of bodies of water with the optimal ecological characteristics which provokes concentrations in the population in very concentrated places, making them very vulnerable against any threat.

The cutting or destruction of oak woods is also a serious problem which provokes a greater isolation of the populations.