ON Tuesday, December 10, the Barcelona Zoo will release 88 ‘ferrerets’, an endangered toad native to Mallorca, into the Serra de Tramuntana.
The zoo reports that with this reintroduction, the third in the last 3 years, a total of 220 ferrerets have been returned to their natural habitat since herpetologists and conservationists began to breed the species.
Also known as the Mallorcan midwife toad, in 1982 the amphibian entered the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. In 1991, a conservation plan was drafted in order to carry out measures to ensure its survival. Through this, the zoo and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Balearic Government signed an agreement to promote the reproduction of the endemic species.
Ferrerets were discovered in fossil state on 1977 and have always lived comfortably in the mountain rivers of the Serra de Tramuntana. In fact, this is the only place the species have ever survived. They are very sensitive amphibians which can react to even the smallest changes in their habitat. As one of the world’s smallest toads they also have limited defence mechanisms to protect themselves from predators.