Bufo viridis (Laurenti 1768) Green Toad
Hebrew name: קרפדה ירוקה, karpada yeruka
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: EN (A1c) – Critically Endangered
Distribution area: The green toad in Israel has a continuous distribution throughout the Mediterranean region. It is also found – discontinuously and limited to sites with available water – in the desert down to the southern Arava. Its distribution area expanded into the desert during the 1950s, probably in the wake of expanding human settlement and activity. In the past the species was categorized as EN in Europe (Honegger 1981).
Historic distribution: Throughout the country from Petra (Barbour 1914), Beersheba (Flower 1933) and Nahal Aza northwards, except for the Dead Sea area (Mendelssohn & Steinitz 1944).
Typical Habitat: Human settlements, irrigated fields, and water bodies. Tadpoles develop in temporary winter pools and river slow running tributaries; adults spend the summer in damp sites, irrigated fields and gardens; in winter green toads can be found under stones and near breeding sites.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Habitat destruction.
2. Water pollution.
3. Habitat fragmentation.
Population Size: The adult population is estimated at several thousand. Surveys held in the late 1990s reported tadpoles from about 60 sites (Gafny & Gasith unpubl.), but this data is probably partial.
Fluctuations in Population Size: Data from breeding site surveys held in the recent years indicate a decrease of over 55% in the number of active breeding sites, which indicates a similar decrease in the number of populations.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: According to observations and estimates populations are still continuous, but the drastic decrease in the number of populations may lead to fragmentation.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation: Protecting existing pools from pollution and drainage. Pools’ catchment must also be protected in order to preserve the pool’s filling regime. Excavating artificial winter pools in nature reserves and protected sites.