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Pelobates varaldii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA PELOBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Pelobates varaldii
Species Authority: Pasteur & Bons, 1959
Common Name(s):
English Moroccan Spadefoot Toad, Varaldi’s Spadefoot Toad
French Pélobate De Varaldi, Pélobate Marocain

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Alfredo Salvador, David Donaire-Barroso, Tahar Slimani , El Hassan El Mouden, Philippe Geniez
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is probably less than 500km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Morocco.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from fragmented localized areas on the coastal plains of north-western Morocco. The northernmost location is the town of Larache, while the southernmost population is known from the north-eastern part of the salt marshes of Oualida. The species may range further south than Oualidia, and this possible range extension requires further investigation. Yus Ramos and Cabo Hernandez (1986) mentioned the presence of Pelobates cultripes in the Melilla region (Spain), which might refer to P. varaldii, though this record is far outside the known range of any Pelobates species. P. varaldii is not found above 350m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Morocco
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on the population status of this species, although it is believed to be declining.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is generally fossorial, inhabiting lowland sandy uncultivated soils, sometimes in the vicinity of cork woodlands. The spawning sites are most often still temporary waterbodies (such as dayas and rain puddles). It does not occur in anthropogenically modified habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats include habitat loss and degradation due to the conversion of land to livestock pasture, and the pollution of stagnant waters with livestock droppings (Schleich, Kästle and Kabisch 1996). In addition, arable agriculture may be leading to the loss or disturbance of the sandy substrate soil habitat, with which the species is strongly associated. Populations of the species are now often restricted to temporary ponds, and those remaining in permanent waterbodies are being eliminated through the presence of predatory fishes (specifically Gambusia holbrooki).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known whether the species occurs in any protected areas, though it may be present in the Merja Zerga Biological Reserve. There is certainly a need for improved protection of the habitat of this species.

Citation: Alfredo Salvador, David Donaire-Barroso, Tahar Slimani , El Hassan El Mouden, Philippe Geniez 2004. Pelobates varaldii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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