2,801Grants to


North african fire salamander (Salamandra algira spelaea)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13057819

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 13057819) - North african fire salamander - Awarded $4,000 on January 28, 2014

Beni Snassen's Fire Salamander Salamandra algira spelaea was discovered in 2007 and is strictly localized on the Beni Snassen Massif (North-eastern Morocco). In this massif its habitat is threatened by habitat loss, due to overgrazing and deforestation. S. algira spelaea is very rare and it is possible that only few hundreds of adults still remain in the wild. For this reason immediate conservation actions should be started.

Research Team:

Dr. Daniel Escoriza, University of Girona.

Dr. Jihène Ben Hassine, University of Tunis-El Manar.

Arlo Hinckley, Fundación para la Investigación en Etología y Biodiversidad.


Project Goals

The goal of this investigation is to determine the actual occupancy estimation and habitat requirements of the Beni Snassen Fire Salamander S. algira spelaea and to generate an ex-situ population, starting a captivity breeding program. These findings are then to be used for long term management, planning for protection of the species occurrence area throught habitat restoration (e.g., creation/restoration of water bodies, reforestation).


The main six objectives of the present project are to:

1) Collect presence record data.

2) Characterize species habitat.

4) Identification of potential threats to the species (predators, alien predators, pollution, habitat destruction..).

5) Captive breeding in the center of the Fundación para la Investigación en Etología y Biodiversidad. This will ensure an ex-situ population in the possible event of wild populations collapse.

6) To publish scientific materials with data collected throught this study.


Publications associated with this grant:

Ben Hassine, J., Escoriza, D. 2014. New Ecological Data on the Family Salamandridae in the Maghreb. Herpetological Review 45(2), 193-200. 

Escoriza, D., Ben Hassine J. 2014. Microclimatic gradients in multiple Salamandra algira populations: phenology and reproductive strategies. Acta herpetologica 9, 33-41. http://www.fupress.net/index.php/ah/article/view/13406

Project 13057819 location - Morocco, Africa