Conservation of Apennine yellow-bellied toad

Photo by Leonardo Vignoli
Publié: 12 septembre 2022
Dernière modification: 12 septembre 2022
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The Apennine yellow-bellied toad (Bombina pachypus) is an amphibian endemic to Italy listed as Endangered by IUCN RedList. 


Most populations are reduced to 6-20 individuals.


We report a restocking project in two demes that suffered dramatic declines with population size <10 individuals.


The threats for the species at the study sites were pool desiccation and habitat alteration by Wild boars.


Populations size remained stable in 2005-2013. In 2012, two actions were implemented to mitigate the threats: 1) additional pools were built and fed by springs to avoid desiccation; 2) each pool was fenced to prevent Wild boars from using the pools. After two years, no population growth was observed.


We started a four-year (2014-2017) project aimed at increasing the population size through restocking of individuals raised in ex-situ facilities. Overall, 67 young toads were released.


Europe de l’Ouest et du Sud
Scale of implementation
Écosystème agricole
Gestion des espèces
Science et recherche
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Surveillance des espèces et recherche
Gestion intensive des espèces (in situ ou ex situ)
Translocations pour la conservation des espèces
Planification de la conservation des espèces
One Health
Santé animale
Utilisations conflictuelles / impacts cumulatifs


Vallecupola, Rocca Sinibalda, Rieti, Italy | Vallecupola, Rome
Rome, Italy


The main objective of the project is to develop a conservation strategy at the local level involving as the main partners the Monti Navegna e Cervia Nature Reserve, the Fondazione Bioparco of Rome and the Department of Science of the University of Roma Tre. In detail, the project aims to address the following challenges:
1 Mitigate the main threats to select demes before restocking: e.g. early drought of pools and alteration of wetlands by wild boar (Sus scrofa).
2 Producing an adequate captive-bred population of one-year-old metamorphosed individuals from eggs collected in the wild from the same site selected for restocking.
4 Release captive-reared one-year-old toads into the wild in four annual restocking events from 2014-2017.
5 Doubling (at least) the original population (i.e. N>20) after the fourth year of restocking.
6 Establish two long-term self-sustainable populations of Bombina pachypus


The Nature Reserve derives a net benefit from conservation actions on a threatened species.

The citizens of the municipalities bordering the intervention area have been involved in communication and education events.

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

The connection and interaction among building blocks is sequential. Each block is preparatory for the following one and cannot ignore the realization of the previous one so that the entire project is fully successful.

Monitoring the conservation status of Apennine yellow-bellied toad populations is essential for planning threat mitigation actions. In turn, the impact of mitigation actions must be evaluated over time to understand if there is a need for further reinforcement actions (restocking). 


The main positive impact of our solution is represented by a net increment of 21 released toads plus some from natural recruitment that allowed to double the original population size.


Moreover, the restocked toads bred repeatedly over the years and captive-bred individual were ready to breed just after 13 months, well before the reported age at maturity for wild animals (three years). Considering the
positive outcome of the restocking of the captive bred population, the release of further individuals in the considered demes was stopped but the monitoring is still ongoing.


Given the success of the restocking action, a new larger wetlands was built in an area close to the two previously implemented. Monitoring is still ongoing.

Contribué par

Portrait de leon.vignoli_42013

Leonardo Vignoli Dipartimento di Scienze - University Roma Tre

Other contributors

University Roma Tre