33 toads raised at the Bioparco of Rome released in the Navegna park

Thirty-three rare black-and-yellow-bellied toads of the Apennine ululoni species have been released in the Monti Navegna and Cervia Nature Reserve (Rieti) after being successfully bred at the Rome Bioparco. The repopulation operation was possible thanks to the collaboration between the Navegna Reserve and Cervia, the Science Department of the Roma Tre University and the Bioparco Foundation of Rome. The Apennine toad (Bombina pachypus) is a species classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘threatened’. The origin of the name derives from the particular verse, similar to a howl, which the male emits to recall the females; moreover, when predators approach, it produces disgusting substances with a strong smell of garlic and arches its back showing its belly to drive them away. The staff of the Bioparco Reptile, with a high level of know-how on the maintenance of threatened amphibians, has been involved in the breeding of toad babies since the hatching of the eggs collected in the Reserve since 2014. After the metamorphosis, the tadpoles are raised in a nursery specially created for this rare amphibian, a victim of climate change. The operators of the Navegna Reserve take care of the monitoring of the released specimens on site and periodically check their growth.

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