RAUK - Archived Forum - European Tree Frogs

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European Tree Frogs:

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Herpetologic
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Joined: 02 Sep 2003
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Posted: 04 Nov 2003

How many European Tree Frog colonies are there in the UK?

I know of a colony in Basildon where the tree frogs have been kept in a garden and have escaped reaching up to a mile or so away from the garden.

I also know that there maybe garden populations of Tree Frogs in the New Forest which came from the Basildon colony. I believe that 30 individuals have been transported to the New Forest.

Jon


Alex2
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
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Posted: 16 Dec 2006

Sorry to dig up an old topic, but out of interest, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day that insists that there is a colony of H.Arborea at a certain Weymouth lake...Anybody else heard this rumour?, first I'd heard of it. I suggested he's getting mixed up with the now defunct Hampshire colony, but he's certain he's got his facts straight. Perhaps Dave B will know more?.

Cheers,

Alex.

Alex239067.4719675926
armata
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006
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Posted: 16 Dec 2006
If you are talking about the RSPB lake then it is not so, cos I heard this story from another. However, I spent a lot of time there over a couple of years and zip zero with regard to Hylas.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
Alex2
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Posted: 16 Dec 2006

Thanks Tony, I find it interesting that you've also heard this story. I will have to quiz my friend more and make sure it is the RSPB lake.

Cheers,

Alex.


herpetologic2
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Posted: 18 Dec 2006

 

I know that there is still a Tree Frog colony in the New Forest - I am not sure if it is free living rather in out door enclosures - I also know that the new population originated from Turkey - they came to the UK about 40 years ago!

Jon


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Caleb
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 18 Dec 2006
Charles Snell (who posts here on occasion) wrote an article for British Wildlife on H. arborea in the UK ('Status of the Common Tree Frog in Britain', British Wildlife, Feb 2006, 153-160).

He reckons the New Forest colony has been extinct since the late 80s, but suggests that there's a chance they might have been native- apparently he was unable to find any records of introductions.

The New Forest Reptiliary used to keep tree frogs, don't know if they were from the same stock as the 'wild' colony.
herpetologic2
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Posted: 18 Dec 2006

 

Well I know that a colony of Turkish Tree Frogs have made their way down to the New Forest with the help of humans of course - these frogs were sourced from a colony in Essex - where the noisy frogs were collected and taken to the New Forest - so there may still be a colony down there....

 

Jon


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David Bird
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Posted: 21 Dec 2006
The old colony of Tree frogs in the New Forest near Beaulieu was definitely Hyla arborea as I saw and heard them several times. There have certainly been numerous reports of single calling males all over the forest over the last 20 years away from any houses but as far as I know no breeding colonies. On most visit I made to the Beaulieu site I found local children with small nets "pond dipping" and when questioned had known of other children who had taken specimens that they had caught to school and then put them in their garden.
I do not know how the Turkish Hyla were obtained but many of the imports I saw from Turkey were Hyla savignyi which do not have the stripe like H.arboreaand often blotched. I found they were also much easier to breed in captivity indoors than H.arborea
There was information about a person who was supposed to have introduced the tree frogs near Beaulieu who lived further down the hill and used to pay the local children to catch the ones that migrated to the pond up the hill and at the edge of the heath back to his more shady garden. I was told this by a chap who was one of the children in the early 1900's.
I have not heard anything about Tree frogs in Weymouth but will make enquiries.

David
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
Alex2
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
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Posted: 03 Jan 2007

[QUOTE=David Bird]The old colony of Tree frogs in the New Forest near Beaulieu was definitely Hyla arborea as I saw and heard them several times. There have certainly been numerous reports of single calling males all over the forest over the last 20 years away from any houses but as far as I know no breeding colonies. On most visit I made to the Beaulieu site I found local children with small nets "pond dipping" and when questioned had known of other children who had taken specimens that they had caught to school and then put them in their garden.
I do not know how the Turkish Hyla were obtained but many of the imports I saw from Turkey were Hyla savignyi which do not have the stripe like H.arboreaand often blotched. I found they were also much easier to breed in captivity indoors than H.arborea
There was information about a person who was supposed to have introduced the tree frogs near Beaulieu who lived further down the hill and used to pay the local children to catch the ones that migrated to the pond up the hill and at the edge of the heath back to his more shady garden. I was told this by a chap who was one of the children in the early 1900's.
I have not heard anything about Tree frogs in Weymouth but will make enquiries.

David[/QUOTE]

Sorry to off topic... 

Hi Dave, could you delete a message or something in your PM, have been trying to message you. Not seen you for ages old bean, happy new year, Alex Moss.

P.s, Find out anything on the Weymouth 'Hyla'?.


Alan Hyde
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Posted: 03 Jan 2007
I'm surprised that any hyla arborea could survive in UK. From what i've seen when visiting Turkey these frogs love hot sunshine!
O-> O+>
herpetologic2
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Posted: 03 Jan 2007

 

Well a thriving colony collected from Turkey around 30 to 40 years ago are still doing well in a garden in South Essex - a very warm and dry part of the country.

I will get a photo up here soon -

 

JC


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Alex2
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Posted: 04 Jan 2007

[QUOTE=Alan Hyde]I'm surprised that any hyla arborea could survive in UK. From what i've seen when visiting Turkey these frogs love hot sunshine! [/QUOTE]

Hi Alan,

I know this is not a 'keepers' forum, but nevertheless, thought you maybe interested to know that I keep a colony of around 10 Hyla Arborea outdoors (in a SECURE enclosure) year round. They were active till fairly late in the year. It was talking about this that I heard off a friend about the alleged Weymouth Hyla. They certainly do enjoy basking in the sunshine, and croaking in it (much to the neighbours amusement).

Cheers, Alex.


chas
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005
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Posted: 06 Jan 2007

The issues surrounding the new Forest and South Essex colonies seem to require some urgent clarification.

I knew of one in Hyla arborea colony in a garden in Basildon.  I knew the owner (now deceased) and their origin was certainly not Turkey.  Perhaps we are talking about another colony that I haven't yet been informed of?  Having known the owner well, he at no point mentioned to me that any of these were taken to the New Forest. 

The New Forest colony near Beaulieu, described earlier by David Bird, has a history that goes back at least to 1910 and finally dwindling to extinction by 1987.

There were unconvincing rumours that the introduction of this older colony was via Mr Turner Turner who, it was rumored, brought them back from his travels in South Africa or from Monte Carlo on the Mediterranean.  As the new Forest colony were definitely Hyla arborea and that this species does not exist in either Africa all the Mediterranean region around Monte Carlo (where Hyla meridionalis exists) this story can be dismissed -- to my mind -- as one of the many myths that grow up around colonies of animals that seem to be out of place and need explanation. 

I wrote at some length, with illustrations, on the tree frog in Britain for British Wildlife magazine which goes deeper into the history ('Status of the Common Tree Frog in Britain', British Wildlife, Feb 2006, 153-160) if any mom wants to take the subject further.

Finally, the earliest records of the species in Britain start with Sir Thomas Browne in 1646 who wrote of them (when discussing frogs in Britain) being a little frog of an excellent Parrat green, that usually sits on Trees and Bushes and later in that same century Dr Christopher Merrett (1667) lists them as part of British fauna. It is not inconceivable, therefore, that this hardy species was once part of our fauna.

Hyla arborea is a very hardy amphibian and can survive being frozen solid.  This ability allows it to live as far north as southern Sweden in Europe and east to the former East-Bloc states which get far colder than Britain.  It should be no surprise then, that this species (unlike the more southerly species such as the stripeless tree frog), can survive in Britain.


Charles Snell
herpetologic2
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Posted: 06 Jan 2007

 

Hi Charles

I also knew the owner and I am sure that he told me he colelcted them from Turkey - but I may be mistaken if you know otherwise. The owner also said that he had collected around 30 frogs from his garden as they were getting too noisy. He stated that he had taken them to Martin Noble in the New Forest - so at least these animals may be living in his collection in the New Forest.

The frogs often escaped from the green houses they were living in and were frequently returned by disgruntled neighbours who couldnt cope with the noise during the summer all of this was conveyed to be by the owner before he passed away.

I know a few people in Essex that are helping with the owner's widow in keeping the garden going and also helping with the animals.

JC


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chas
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Posted: 06 Jan 2007

Thanks for that, Jon.

We do seem to be talking about the same colony of tree frogs in Essex.  The owner of a garden colony visited me in the late 70s and I gave him 10 to 15 common tree frog metamorphs (of completely uncertain origin) which started his colony.    When I last visited him before his death and praised his success in maintaining the tree frogs for so long, he never mentioned any others coming from Turkey. I also knew that he gave some to Martin Noble. What I was trying to separate more clearly in the minds of readers is that any of the New Forest wild living tree frogs had a known origin, either from Turkey or Essex.  Those which were turning up away from the original Hilltop pond did so before the Essex owner had given any to Martin.


Charles Snell
Luckygenes
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Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Posted: 08 Jan 2011

Unfortunately as a young kid, I caught a couple of tree frogs from the pond at Hill top near Beaulieu. I only kept them for a few days as they were so noisy, my parents made me release them. This would have been in the mid to late 60's. At the time we were told by locals that the colony had been introduced by someone returning from France after the war, I'm assuming 1st world war. The last time I saw a tree frog at Hill top was around 1978,  I can be certain of the date as I took a photo of one of the frogs with a college camera, I was at Art College untill the summer of 78. I still have a print somewhere, when I find it, I'll post it on here. As far as I can recall the frogs had a black eye stripe.

Luckygenes40551.7548611111

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