Operation: Rescue Salamander

Along the lines of the Aye-Aye and cats who ride the bus for a good fish 'n chips is this story: salamanders, hundreds of them, living in Israel’s Galilee have been rescued from imminent death by an ecologist and university professor, writes Haaretz.

While surveying the region’s winter ponds (written about here) ecologist Talia Oron and Dr. Sarig Gafny from Tel Aviv University discovered that the winter pond near the village of Fasuta had dried. Home to tadpoles and developing salamanders, the animals would have surely died if they weren’t transferred to a new pond, reasoned the scientists. Since man-made interference in the region in the form of agricultural work has changed the pond's drainage system, there is no longer enough support the salamanders throughout the season.

But the salamanders were not informed of the change and continued to spawn in the pond as usual. "The salamanders remember the pool as a safe place and know nothing of the disruption of the water balance in recent years," says Oron. "We had not visited this pond recently. It is only thanks to the survey that we discovered the problem." ::Haaretz

Tags: Conservation | Israel

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