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Montseny newt (Calotriton arnoldi)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 14258012

Population study, habitat management and programming for introduction of captive-born individuals of one critically endangered amphibian, the Montseny newt

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 14258012) - Montseny newt - Awarded $5,000 on June 13, 2014

In 1978 an isolated and remarkable population of Iberian stream dweller newts was found. Its rarity avoid their proper assessment during decades, but after four years of study, in 2005 we described this populations as a new species in Europe.
Today, we know that this species is enterely restricted to seven isolated streams of the Montseny mountains and the overall population would be less of 2000 adult newts. So, we start a conservation project involving captive reproduction and habitat management to avoid the extinction of this unexpected and singular species.

Let me you introduce the main goals of the conservation and management project of the Montseny's newt.


1) Evaluate the level of conservation of the aquatic habitat and the forest around it, tracing the potential human sources of alteration.
2) Estimate the current distribution and abundance of the species in relation to the habitat quality and comparing it with available data of the period 2006-09.
3) Establish the potential range of the species in the Natural Park of Montseny and specifically the sites for future introduction of captive-born individuals.
4) Expand the spatial range of sampling for population health, including chytrid fungus, limb or skin abnormalities.



We faithfully wait that we development of the project can produce many quantifiable and positive inputs for the species survival. Among them we want especially to note two very important:


a) Habitat management. Establishment a politic of management of exploitation of water and forest resources in the Natural Park of Montseny comprising the current and potential distribution of the newt. One concrete apllication should be the removal of water catchments or its replacement by sustainable technologies.

b) Creation of new populations of the species. We have currently three centers of captive reproduction of the Montseny's newt, one of them placed at the Barcelona Zoo. In some few years we expect to have an enough big stock of individuals born in captivity to start a program of introduction in the nature. To achieve it, we need to select the optimal sites, estimate the number of newts that can be released and design a time programming.



The project of conservation of the Montseny's newt was launched in 2006, shortly after of the species recognition. This is a long-term bet for the conservation of the only vertebrate endemic of Catalonia and involves many people from environmental administrations and research centers with the support of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Granollers.



Project 14258012 location - Spain, Europe