Toad-pond at Ilgas near Daugavpils (Latvia)

The situation in Latvia

In Latvia the fire bellied toad only lives in 2 small populations (less than 50 animals). Both populations are situated in NATURA-2000 areas and there is dire need to improve the water and assist in rearing the animals in these regions.

The areas are located in areas of intense arable land (south of Bauska) or in areas where farming has more or less been abandoned (south of Daugavplis). In both cases the wetlands of the fire bellied toads are threatened either by eutrophy or because they are being overgrown by reeds and bushes. The Zoo in Riga has a population of fire bellied toads. This population is a mix of the 2 populations from Bauska and Daugavplis.

Goals

Goals are to improve and maintaine the small population in Latvia Enlarging the habitats in the 2 areas to approx. 100 animals.

One of the new Latvian LIFE-Bombina ponds.

Measures

In Latvia 12 new ponds are to be dug out or restored and a support population is to be established. The 2 existing populations and the mixed population from the zoo are going to be genetically examined in order to establish their relationship. This will help to clarify if the zoo population can be released into wilderness together with one or the other population.