As you already know, one of the objectives of the SOS Amphibians Guadarrama Project is to create new common midwife toad populations in the National Park, separate from our captive breeding program specimens. In this way, thanks to the recent creation of National Park, we can think about recuperating little by little the distribution of the species in the mountains, where it has almost disappeared completely for some time due to multiple causes.
The new populations will be located, for example, in the coolest or warmest zones, where the environmental conditions are not favorable for the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis. Because of this, during the summer we looked for these zones in order to make it more difficult for the fungi pathogens to grow. Finally we found 3 appropriate locations distributed in different mountainous zones.
This week, for the first step of this reintroduction plan, we released a limited number of specimens. If everything goes well, and these specimens survive the winter, next year we will release more specimens in these locations. In addition, in each of the locations we have placed a device that will register the temperature of the water every few minutes throughout the entire year, which allows us to know with precision the environmental conditions in each site.
More than 100 individuals in different states, from tadpoles to some adults who are sufficiently developed to reproduce, have permanently left the Breeding Center facilities to repopulate the new sites. As of now, we have started intense monitoring to find out the destiny of these little pioneering toads. Sometimes, animals which are reintroduced into nature disperse widely, but we hope that if the new sites are a good place to live, we can hear them sing next spring.
All of the efforts of the captive breeding program are geared towards the moment in which the toads walk in nature for the first time. For their exceptional help with the captive breeding center, we want to give thanks to the Peñalara Visitor Center's midwife toad colony managers: Ana, Desiré, Alicia y Genoveva. Thank you for all of your dedication!