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Grey Treefrogs Reveal New Clues about Climate Change

Grey treefrogs may reveal new clues about climate change. Scientists have found that increasing temperatures and climate variability may have an effect on the sounds produced by these frogs, making them canaries in the coal mine.

Grey treefrogs are a common species found in North America and throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country, including Missouri. They have sticky toe pads that help them cling to windows, and also a mating call that distinguishes them on warm, summer evenings.

"In a way, the decline of the polar bear has become the face of climate change; yet grey tree frogs located in our own backyards might give us better clues about changes in the environment," said Sarah C. Humfeld, one of the researchers,in a news release. "Our team wanted to take a look at how rising temperatures might affect how female gray tree frogs interpret the signals given off by males and whether or not that might interrupt their breeding habits."

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