Italian Crested Newt and Yellow-bellied Toad
Triturus carnifex / Bombina variegata
Italian Crested Newt and Yellow-bellied Toad are widespread amphibians in Slovenia, albeit susceptible to environmental changes, just as all other amphibians. Specifically, amphibians inhabit the natural environments, which are highly sensitive to human influences. Italian Crested Newt and Yellow-bellied Toad live in diverse, periodic standing or slow-flowing fish-free aquatic habitats, surrounded by riparian vegetation, marshy and species-rich grasslands, hedgerows, etc.
Italian Crested Newt and Yellow-bellied Toad are threatened, inter alia, by filling, drying up and overgrowing of former river branches, oxbow lakes and depressions, as well as by habitat shrinking and fragmentation. In order to conserve these species, it is of utmost importance for us to protect the applicable aquatic and terrestrial habitats and their interconnectedness.
Within the project, we shall establish new and restore existing aquatic habitats (oxbow lakes, river branches, depressions). Furthermore, we will indirectly contribute to a more favourable microclimate of the area and to the increase of local species diversity as well as to the reduction of flood risk in the area. To raise public awareness as to the importance of conserving amphibians, habitats and natural river processes, educational and interpretation points will be set up.
Why do we need amphibians?
- Amphibians are significant bioindicators in both land and water habitats. The absence of amphibians would indicate environmental overload with pesticides and other environmental pollutants.
- The majority of amphibians feed on insects and their larvae and, in turn, directly diminish the abundance, also from an anthropocentric point of view, of harmful insects in fields, orchards and gardens.
- Amphibians are prey to numerous other animals, such as fish, birds, snakes and other vertebrates.
- Amphibians constitute an indispensable source of data for the development of new technologies and in pharmacy.
What can we do to improve the amphibians' conservation status?
- Avoid polluting the water.
- Avoid introduction of fish into standing waters.
- Let us preserve hedgerows, riparian vegetation, extensively farmed meadows –- these are important as food habitats and wintering grounds for amphibians.
- Let us not drain wetlands and let us maintain pools.
- On land close to pools, let us limit fertilization and vegetation sprinkling with herbicides.
- Let us limit speed on roads in springtime, during amphibians’ migration. Let's join the spring amphibian transfer campaigns.
Sources and literature
- Cipot, M., Govedic, M., Lešnik, A., Poboljšaj, K., Skaberne, B., Sopotnik, M., Stankovic, D. (2011). Vzpostavitev monitoringa velikega pupka (Triturus carnifex). Koncno porocilo. Miklavž na Dravskem polju: Center za kartografijo favne in flore..
- Gorički, Š., Strah, S. (2019). Monitoring dvoživk na območju mrtvice Zaton – Petanjci od leta 2014 do 2018, opredelitev potencialnih dejavnikov ogrožanja in priporočila za izboljšanje stanja.
- Lešnik, A., Poboljšaj, K. (1999). Prispevek k poznavanju favne dvoživk (Amphibia) severovzhodne Slovenije. Natura Sloveniae, letnik 1, številka 1, str. 71–82.
- Poboljšaj K., Lešnik, A. (2003). Strokovna izhodišča za vzpostavljanje omrežja Natura 2000: Dvoživke (Amphibia). Končno poročilo. Miklavž na Dravskem polju: Center za kartografijo favne in flore..
- Pedro Silva, J., Toland, J., Jones, W., Eldridge, J., Hudson, T., O’Hara, E. (2009). LIFE and Europe’s reptiles and amphibians. Conservation in practice.