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Alytes obstetricans

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA ALYTIDAE

Scientific Name: Alytes obstetricans
Species Authority: (Laurenti, 1768)
Common Name(s):
English Common Midwife Toad
Spanish Sapo Partero Común

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jaime Bosch, Trevor Beebee, Benedikt Schmidt, Miguel Tejedo, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Jan Willem Arntzen, Carmen Diaz Paniagua, Rafael Marquez
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from the northern half of Portugal and Spain (where populations are very fragmented, and there is a small Area of Occupancy within its Extent of Occurrence), through most of France, to southern Belgium, extreme southeastern Netherlands, Luxembourg, western and north-central Germany, and western and northern Switzerland. Populations in coastal Portugal west of Lisbon are extinct. It has been introduced to the UK, with several established populations. It occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,400m asl (in the Pyrenees).
Countries:
Native:
Belgium; France; Germany; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; Switzerland
Introduced:
United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: it is reported to be declining (including local extinctions) across its range, but it is still widespread and common in many areas (e.g., in much of France).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives in terrestrial habitats, including temperate forests, semi-arid areas, walls, embankments, and slopes with small stones and sparse vegetation. Aquatic habitats in which the species breeds range from slow moving rivers to stagnant permanent ponds and pools; gravel and clay pits are also used. The larvae of this species frequently hibernate. The species can occur in suitable modified habitat such as traditional agricultural land, and even urban areas (e.g., in Barcelona).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): General habitat loss, largely to agricultural development (including loss of breeding sites), has contributed to the decline of the species in some areas. Fragmentation of populations might be a problem for the species, e.g. in Spain, Portugal and Germany. Certain populations of the subspecies Alytes obstetricans pertinax in protected areas of central Spain have severely declined and disappeared as a result of chytridiomycosis (Bosch et al., 2001; Bosch et al., 2000); a few specimens have recently been found again in this area (M. García-París and J.W. Arntzen pers. comm.). Additional mortality of the species through disease (iridovirus) has been recorded in Carris Lake, Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal (Soares et al., 2003); the disease might be non-native and have been transferred to the lake by an introduced North American predatory fish (Lepomis gibbosus). Mortality initially attributed to the bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila "red-leg disease" has also been reported (Márquez et al. 1995). Predation by L. gibbosus and other introduced predatory fish species, such as salmonids, is also a considerable threat to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive. It is listed in a number of national and sub-national Red Data Books and is protected by national legislation in many of its range states. The species is presumed to occur in a number of protected areas. Further research into the current decline is needed especially into the impacts of disease. In Central Spain there is a captive breeding programme for this species, and some reintroductions have been carried out. In the Spanish national Red List is considered Near Threatened, and subspecies pertinax is considered Vulnerable.

Citation: Jaime Bosch, Trevor Beebee, Benedikt Schmidt, Miguel Tejedo, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Jan Willem Arntzen, Carmen Diaz Paniagua, Rafael Marquez 2009. Alytes obstetricans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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