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Re-introduction of the Mallorcan midwife toad,\ud Mallorca, Spain

By Richard A. Griffiths, Gerardo Garcia and J. Olivier

Abstract

The Mallorcan midwife toad (Alytes muletensis, Sanchíz & Alcover, 1977) or\ud ferreret was first described in the 1970s as Baleaphryne muletensis from upper\ud Pleistocene fossils, and was considered extinct. The discovery of live tadpoles in\ud 1980 led to further research which confirmed the species as extant and endemic\ud to Mallorca (Mayol & Alcover, 1981). Subfossils suggest that the species was\ud once widespread across the island, but today it is confined to a few gorges within\ud the Serra de Tramuntana mountains in the north-west part of the island. There\ud are currently about 34 populations within the mountains and adjacent areas (16\ud original wild populations plus 18 re-introductions). These are largely isolated from\ud each other by physiographic barriers, but there is little evidence of any inbreeding\ud depression. Re-introduction of captive bred toads started in 1989 and it is\ud estimated that about 25% of the wild toads stem from captive bred stock. The\ud successful re-introduction program contributed to the downgrading of the species\ud from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’ in the Global Amphibian Assessment\ud of 2004. There is little evidence that wild populations are continuing to decline, but\ud the recent discovery of chytridiomycosis in four populations gives cause for\ud concern

Topics: GN
Publisher: IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:23168
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