Amphibian Conservation_6

To promote the survival of amphibians in Switzerland by means of research and environmental education

 

Amphibians are exposed to many threats, for example habitat loss caused by humans as well as climate changes or diseases like the chytrid fungus. Worldwide the number of amphibian species has been declining for years. In Switzerland 14 of 20 amphibian species are on the Red List of Endangered Species. The Sihl forest - where no logging has occurred since 2000 - and the Wildpark Langenberg, close to Zurich, offer 11 km² of valuable habitats to different amphibian species, with 30 ha/km² of dead wood and various wetlands.

 

In the Sihl forest and the Wildpark Langenberg amphibians occur naturally, not in but between enclosures. Both common species (alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris), common frog (Rana temporaria) and common toad (Bufo bufo)), and endangered species(midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) and fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra)) can be encountered.

 

As 2008 was declared Year of the Frog, we want to take our responsibility and encourage the Swiss amphibian species. Through a monitoring program we aim to find out which amphibian species occur at selected sites. In collaboration with a PhD student, a second monitoring program will determine if the chytrid fungus occurs in the midwife toad population at the Sihl river. Furthermore an evaluation of the state of existing natural habitats will be conducted. Last but not least we will also focus on education through fascination, awareness rising and knowledge gain. Through exhibitions, excursions and further activities, the local population will get aware about the amphibians species in its close neighbourhood and learn what can be done to support them both through everyday and more substancial actions.

 

WAZA Conservation Project 08007 is implemented by the Wildnispark Zürich, in collaboration with the University of Zurich, and the PhD of Ursina Tobler.

 

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