Alien species alert for Northern Taiwan: Breeding season for Spot-legged tree frogs

Spot-legged tree frogs threaten habitat of endemic tree frogs due to faster reproduction rates


Spot-legged tree frog (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With the breeding season of spot-legged tree frogs at its peak, people are encouraged to report sightings of the animal by phone or via a Facebook fan page.

The spot-legged tree frog is native in central, southern and southwestern China and the Indo-China peninsula. It was first spotted in central Taiwan in 2006. With a high reproductive capacity, it has quickly spread across northern Taiwan.

According to the Forestry Bureau, spot-legged tree frogs are a threat to the endemic tree frogs (Polypedates braueri), as they reproduce faster by laying more eggs and therefore enjoy an advantage in quantity. They will quickly consume all the food and edge the endemic tree frogs out of their habitats.

Endemic tree frog Polypedates braueri (By Wikimedia Commons)

The breeding months of spot-legged tree frogs are April to September. They are more active at night and spend the day mostly in the trees, brushes, or drain pipes. It is not easy to tell the differences between the two species to an untrained eye.

If you think you have caught sight of a spot-legged tree frog, please call the Forestry Bureau (0800-570-930), or contact the Facebook fan page for sightings of this alien species (外來種斑腿樹蛙監測社團). For sightings in Miaoli County, you may also contact the Agricultural Department (037-558216) or Miaoli Nature Ecology Society (037-265674).