In Peñalara, the pathogenic fungus remains alive during winter in the permanent lakes, but it cannot survive free, it can be found in the only hosts that remain in water in that period of the year: The overwintering salamanders’ larvae (since the ones of the midwife toad have practically disappeared). Thus, one of the main strategies of our project is, taking advantage of this good located reservoir, to reduce the levels of the infection in the affected lakes. To do this, we needed to extract at the end of summer the largest number of larvae to move them to the facilities of the Captive Breading Centre and treat them with fungicides, to finally free them next summer once they complete their develop.
In the last weeks, with the appreciated help of our volunteers, we have spent many nights in Peñalara working hard to complete this assignment, working in 3 lakes. After many hours under the stars, capturing one by one the little salamanders that we could see with the light of a torch, we have left these lakes practically free of amphibians and, henceforth we hope, almost free of the pathogenic fungus.
As a result, we have currently hundreds of salamanders in the Captive Breading Centre that we are feeding and taking care until we can free them next spring in their original habitats.
One million thanks to all of the volunteers that have devote their time and effort to this work! We could never do that without you.