Ducks by an irrigation pond

The Mallorcan Midwife Toad or ferreret (Alytes muletensis). II.
Experts are also impressed by its vertical climbing abilities up the torrents, a facility which is not normally found in amphibians. Additionally, it is the male and not the female that looks after the young, a task for which it prepares during the spring and summer months. After mating, the male takes over the eggs which it carries in single rows, between its legs, for 15 to 20 days.

When the tadpole begin to move strongly in the egg, the male enters the water where the eggs hatch and the tadpole starts to swim. Growth of the tadpole requires several months or even a year or more, depending on the conditions. It has several rows of teeth like small saws which scrape off the algae from the stones and it uses up all the remains of animal and vegetable which fall to the bottom of the torrent. Eventually, the tadpoles metamorphose and become miniature copies of their parents.

The aim of the Environment Ministry is to introduce the population into other points on the Island, which is one of the reasons why it is working with the European Life Project to encourage the rebuilding of the old water deposits, water tanks, etc. as an artificial habitat for the toad. There is a plan to create 50 new water points some of them outside the mountain range.

Such is the interest in this tiny creature that, at the present time, there are four zoological centres with these toads - Barcelona in Spain, Jersey and Milton Keyes in the UK, and Stuttgart in Germany.

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