Número 21 | December 2009

Between land and water

The Region of Murcia is one of the most populated areas of the Iberian peninsula concerning species of amphibians and associated families. Due to the lack of attention in studying amphibians in the region, there have been no identification and distribution catalogues of these species in the Region till 2005. In this year, the former Environmental General Direction published a ‘Distribution of Amphibians on the Region of Murcia Atlas.’ Currently, the situation of the amphibians is worrying. A lot of populations have undergone dramatic reductions, even in environmentally protected areas. Climate change, the reducing of the ozone layer, agricultural chemical waste, the town development, the abandonment of traditional agricultural and cattle processes and drought have significantly affected the population. In general, the common amphibian habitats have been substantially reduced or been comprimised in quality. Amphibians in the Region of Murcia are of a high natural value, because they are very sensitive animals to changes in the environment and therefore are key indicators in monitoring the preservation of the environment. Although, the population of amphibians can be variable and it needs a permanent monitoring to set the right protection measures.
Some of the species of amphibians in the Region of Murcia are the Iberian Ribbed Newt, the common frog, the Hyla meridionalis, common salamander, parsley frog, East Iberian Painted Frog, common toad, Natterjack toad, Western Spadefoot Toad, Iberian Midwife Toad and Common Midwife Toad. It is not known how many numbers live today in the Region, but the Northwest area and Yecla and Jumilla areas (Altiplano) appear to be the most populated.

Sapillo pintojo meridional (Discoglossus jeanneae)
Ranita meridional (Hyla meridionalis)
Sapo corredor (Bufo calamita)