19 Oct THE FIRST SEASON OF SUPPORTIVE BREEDING FOR TRITURUS CARNIFEX HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED
The first year of population reinforcement for Triturus carnifex with supportive breeding was a great success. With the help and knowledge of project partners from Denmark and Germany, we bred 166 larvae, which we later released as young individuals in project area Natura 2000 Dobrava – Jovsi. The breeding station in Kozjanski park is the first breeding station for amphibians in Slovenia and the first breeding station for Triturus carnifex in Europe.
The supportive breeding began in Kozjanski park at the end of April 2022, when we brought the first newts’ eggs to our breeding station in Podsreda. A week later we already noticed the first hatched larva.
Female newts lay and wrap their eggs individually on submerged leaves of aquatic plants. In Jovsi, we noticed seven locations with eggs attached to water vegetation. On the 25th of April and the 4th of May, we collected 348 eggs and brought them into the breeding station.
As the eggs are wrapped in vegetation so carefully, it is hard to determine the species of each individual egg. Later on it turned out that apart from Triturus carnifex, 35 of hatched larvae belong to different species – Lissotriton vulgaris. Those we returned to the origin locations.
In June, some of the breeding sites in Jovsi began to dry out. We noticed additional 37 eggs in one of the breeding sites, and we decided to collect them as well since the water level was dropping drastically.
From 421 collected eggs, 35 larvae of Lissotriton vulgaris and 166 larvae of Triturus carnifex hatched in Podsreda. Triturus carnifex larvae were bred till their metamorphosis into young individuals. Sadly all the origin breeding sites in the project area dried out, therefore we released young newts in the new ponds that were established in the previous year within the LIFE AMPHICON project. As the eggs were collected on different dates, not all of the larvae reached a certain developmental stage at the same time. The first individuals were released at the end of July, the majority in August and the last five were released in September.
Supportive breeding will continue in the next years, together with the restoration and improvement of water and terrestrial habitats in Jovsi (actions C.1 and C.2). The goal is to improve the conservation status of the small and isolated Triturus carnifex population in Jovsi, to allow them a long term survival.