Nadine Lehofer & Lina Ried


Habitat use and activity patterns of the European green toad (Bufotes viridis) in an urban habitat compared to a natural area

MSc Student
Advisor: Günter Gollmann, Lukas Landler

Unit for Theoretical Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology
University of Vienna

The European green toad is one of the few amphibian species able to persist in some anthropogenic environments. It is a pioneer species, preferring warm and relatively dry habitats, they move long distances when colonizing new habitats. Their opportunistic selection of breeding habitats allows them to survive in cities like Vienna. The question arises whether and if so, how the toads adapt their behavior to the urban habitat. Therefore, our aim is to compare the movement, activity patterns and behavior of the green toad in an anthropogenic environment to a rather natural environment.
In order to investigate their spatial behavior and activity, we use bio-logging technology. The toads were equipped with a tracking package including a VHF (Very High Frequency) transmitter and an accelerometer. The VHF-transmitters allow to relocate the toads by manual radio-telemetry tracking and the accelerometer records the movement in 3 axes (X, Y and Z). In addition to analyzing their overall activity patterns, we aim to identify at least 3 behaviors: jumping, crawling and resting, by their specific acceleration patterns.
Data was collected over a period of two months, alternately in Vienna (Rudolf-Bednar-Park in the 2nd district) and in the National Park Neusiedler See/Seewinkel, starting at the end of April. Preferably male toads were equipped with tracking packages because females are less represented at the breeding ponds.
Based on the collected data two master's theses are conducted: The thesis of Nadine will investigate habitat use by evaluating and comparing home ranges of individuals between the study sites, as well as correlations of activities and weather conditions. The thesis of Lina will focus on differences in overall activity patterns and specific behaviors.