Spring cycle of monitoring and rescue of amphibians from the local road

Urednik Expert service news, Important notices

In the Plitvice Lakes National Park, employees of the Nature Conservation Service started the second year of monitoring and rescuing amphibians along the road next to the Upper Lakes. After installing fences on eight sections of the road for panoramic vehicles, stretching from Labudovac to Rječica Stream, and with favourable weather conditions, we have set up funnel traps and opened pitfalls. Over the next few weeks, as amphibian migrations from terrestrial to aquatic habitats occur, we will monitor these passive traps in the mornings and evenings. Favourable weather conditions, such as humidity and rainfall are crucial for triggering the activity of various amphibians, with a particular focus on the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) species. We do not survey only amphibians captured in passive traps, which we safely transfer across the road, but also those found directly on the road itself. These individuals are transferred safely across the road after recording necessary data (species, time, location, photograph, coordinates, sex determination, species identification, and age estimation). If any individuals are unfortunately roadkilled, we remove them from the road after documentation.

Given that this activity is in its second year of implementation, it will certainly be interesting to determine, after the monitoring cycles in April and September, the number of individuals recaptured from 2023. Through this activity, we aim to save individuals from harm on the road while also collecting data that will serve as a basis for finding permanent solutions for the safe passage of amphibians across the road.