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Distribution and abundance of the midwife toad Alytes obstetricans in Hessia Verbreitung und Bestandssituation der Geburtshelferkroete Alytes obstetricans in Hessen



Distribution and abundance of the midwife toad Alytes obstetricans in Hessia Verbreitung und Bestandssituation der Geburtshelferkroete Alytes obstetricans in Hessen



Zeitschrift fuer Feldherpetologie. Maerz; 101: 53-59



In Hessia, the midwife toad is restricted to the hilly areas north of the Rhein-Main plain, at elevations between 140 and over 700 m. The species inhabits quarries, sand and clay pits, military areas and railway tracks, rarely forest clearings with small ponds, in some cases even water-filled cart ruts or natural swimming pools. Most populations consist of few individuals; many are isolated. Nevertheless there are possibilities of contacts between populations in Hessia and others in neighbouring lands such as Thuringia, Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Hessen, therefore, fulfils an important function as a bridge between the easternmost populations of Alytes and the main distribution area in western Europe. The midwife toad does not show such dramatic losses of populations as do other pioneer species such as the yellow-bellied toad. Only in the Taunus mountains west of Frankfurt/M a greater number of historic populations have been lost. However, significant reductions in numbers of individuals and populations have been observed in other regions. Therefore a classification of this species in Hessia's Red List as "highly endangered" appears justified.

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