Project

At the top. Amphibians and Reptiles populations of higher Apennine Mountains.

Goal: How Climate Change affects the ecology and behavior of some very localized populations of amphibians and reptiles in Central Apennines (Abruzzo, Latium, Molise).

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Project log

Luca Coppari
added a research item
In Central Italy Rana temporaria is only known to occur as a glacial relict on the eastern side of Monti della Laga (Lazio). In this study we report the presence of the species in other areas of the mountain chain, with documented sightings in five distinct localities in Marche and Abruzzo. We use these new records, together with other occurrence data from the Apennine chain, to generate a species distribution model and perform an analysis of the geological preference of the species in Central Italy. Although the model indicates a wide area of Marche and Abruzzo as suitable for R. temporaria, the actual distribution of the species in northern and central Apennine appears strongly associated with sandstones. Therefore, we argue that the presence of this geological substrate on Monti della Laga, but not in surrounding karst uplands, could be among the factors explaining its isolation. Our study aims at paving the way for future surveys and measures to protect these isolated populations from the threat posed by climate change.
Vincenzo Ferri
added a research item
In 2005-2007, the community composition of Amphibians and Reptiles was studied in the territory of S.I.C. IT7020090 “Colle del rascito” near Collarmele and Pescina (L’Aquila), where 4 species of Anura, 1 of Caudata, 4 sauria and 4 Ophidians were directly observed. For Amphibians only Bufo bufo is present out of limited wetland habitatof S.I.C., while Hyla intermedia and Triturus carnifex have scarsely and localized population. For Reptiles Podarcis sicula campestris is characterized with an high density on the calcareous stones habitat, while Zamenis longissimus, Natrix natrix helvetica and Vipera aspis francisciredi results rare. No recent data for Elaphe quatuorlineata (post 1990) can demonstrate it local extinction. Very anectodically result the inclusion in the Nature 2000 Candidature Form of this S.I.C. of Bombina pachypus and Salamandrina terdigitata: actually there aren’t suitable habitat for these species.
Vincenzo Ferri
added a research item
Since 1995 many initiatives regard monitoring and conservation of Salamandrina terdigitata populations in Abruzzo have been put in motion. The forest typology of pure Abies alba or mixed with Fagus sylvatica represent the principal habitat. The main conservation problems derive from an excessive water pollution and interception (both for potable use, for irrigation and idroelectric installation.
Vincenzo Ferri
added a research item
L’Aquila province holds a significant biological diversity heritage and a large portion of its territory is preserved through parks, reserves and sites of community importance. Nevertheless, the only published and thorough information as to its herpetofauna came from regional herpetological atlases published on 2007 and 2008. We updated the distribution of amphibians and reptiles plotting 316 and 415 records of amphibians and reptiles, respectively, recorded from 2008 to 2016, across the 74 U.T.M. quadrants (10×10 km) crossing the province. We were able to detect a total of 25 species (12 amphibians, 13 reptiles), i.e. 71.4% out of the 35 species known to be present in the whole region. The average number of amphibian species (taking into account only quadrants where such taxon has been found, n = 44) was 2.93 (sd: +/- 1,78; range: 1-9), while the average number of reptile species (across 56 quadrants) was 3.52 (sd +/- 2.47; 1-11 specie). Triturus carnifex and Bufo bufo occurred most frequently among amphibians: being recorded in 45.5% and 72.7% of sampling units; Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus were the rarest ones occurring in 6.8% of quadrants. Lacerta bilineata and Podarcis muralis were the most widespread reptiles (60.7%), while Natrix tessellata (7.1%), Chalcides chalcides and Elaphe quatuorlineata (8.9%) were the rarest species. For amphibians, we recorded from 1 to 11 new quadrants/species (average: 4.1), and a similar results was obtained for reptiles: 1-10 new quadrants/species (average: 4.4). Although we have further widened the knowledge about distribution of herpetofauna in the provincial territory, species richness is still underestimated in many areas which are worth of further investigation.
Vincenzo Ferri
added 2 research items
This paper updates the distribution map of Abruzzo Italian crested newt Triturus carnifex (Laurenti, 1768) with a significant increase of the data published in 2007 in Regional Atlas of Amphibians. It also highlighted the plasticity and environmental adaptability of the species, as well as the ascertained capability of this urodel to colonize also urban environments.
Salamandra salamandra is a species located in Abruzzo region in mature forests of beech on the Gran sasso and Laga mountains, Majella and mountains among Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. With targeted research in order to identify new presence sites or reconfirm old reports, it was possible to confirm the presence of a reproductive population of this species on Gran Sasso, near Arsita town (TE).
Vincenzo Ferri
added a research item
Preliminary Data on the Situation and Conservation problems of Amphibians in the Majella National Park. We present the first data about the situation of Batrachofauna of Majella National Park after three years of an ecological studies of Amphibian populations located in natural reserves of eastern Majella Mountain. Five species of Urodela (Salamandra salamandra gigliolii, Salamandrina terdigitata, Triturus carnifex, T. italicus, T. vulgaris meridionalis) together with six Anura species (Bombina pachypus, Hyla intermedia, Bufo bufo spinosus, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica e Rana kl. “hispanica”) were present in the territory. We have also promoted biospeleological research (in collaboration with “Gruppo Grotte Chieti”) in a natural cavity of north-west Majella and Morrone mountains to confirm the presence of Speleomantes italicus. Population of Rana temporaria is probably present on the southern side of Majella (Pellegrini Mr., in litteris): After identifying the principal threats of these Vertebrates in the Park territory we indicate initiatives for their conservation.
Vincenzo Ferri
added a research item
Riassunto. Nel presente lavoro vengono aggiornati i dati sulla distribuzione del rospo smeraldino occidentale Bufotes balearicus (Boettger, 1880) in Abruzzo e vengono individuate le azioni strategiche per la conservazione delle popolazioni presenti. Abstract. In this work data on the distribution in Abruzzo of the western green-toad Bufotes balearicus (Boettger, 1880) are updated and strategic actions for the conservation of the present populations are identified.
Vincenzo Ferri
added a project goal
How Climate Change affects the ecology and behavior of some very localized populations of amphibians and reptiles in Central Apennines (Abruzzo, Latium, Molise).