Did you know that rivers and wetlands are considered one of the richest ecosystems in terms of diversity of life?
During the last century, however, almost 90% of them have been lost due to human intervention, which is also related to the decline of frogs. In the past, therefore, “frog concerts” during the spring were a common part of the stay in nature, now it is increasingly rare to find places where we can enjoy them.
Why is frog protection important?
There are 12 species of frogs living in Slovakia and all of them are protected by law. Frogs are an irreplaceable component of the ecosystem. Not only they do regulate the insects they feed on, but the frogs themselves are a food component for water birds, such as e.g. Black Stork or Gray Heron. The protection of amphibians is based on three main pillars – the care of existing habitats, the replacement of habitats and the protection of amphibians during migration. Surely you have just seen efforts to save oil during migration. So far, perhaps the most proven method is the construction of barriers and the subsequent transfer of collected frogs across the road. On the way behind the water, frogs often cross the road and thus inadvertently become victims of road traffic. Drought has also been a problem in recent years. After a tiring journey, the toad gets to the place where the water was waiting and finds only parched land. In the spring, frogs look for standing puddles, lakes, wetlands and slow-flowing waters, which these species necessarily need for their reproduction. They are dependent on water, but of course also on its quality. Depending on the species, frogs have demands on the lighting of the water surface and its depth. E.g. distinctly shallow water is inhabited by martens. The coastal vegetation is also important, providing shelter for all developmental stages of frogs and, in the spring, the possibility of attaching eggs. For wintering frogs, the type of bottom into which they bury themselves is important. Garden ponds can be a simple substitute, but they are often chemically treated.
Frogs and wetland restoration
Only natural wetlands can meet the full range of these requirements. Therefore, it is necessary to restore wetlands that have been cut off from river branches or the main riverbed due to navigability or electricity production. Such revitalized wetlands provide us all with a safe and sustainable source of drinking water and a place to live for amphibians and other animals.
You can find out more about our wetland restoration activities here.
Restoration of aquatic habitats is not only important from the point of view of the protection of individual species. Wetlands are a unique system for retaining water, thus ensuring flood control, also providing chemical filtration of water and thus creating a sustainable source of drinking water. Wetlands have always been a part of our country and our ancestors also used them in weather forecasting. An old Slovak saying says that the croaking of frogs before Jurajs names day signals that they will stay quiet after Jure because it will still be winter. And it is said that when the frogs make frogs near or directly in the stream, it will be a dry year, but when in the juveniles, the year will be wet.