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Creating the perfect home for the spadefoot toad

To counter the decline of amphibians and boost biodiversity in the region, Goodman funded the spadefoot toad project by the Catalan Society of Herpetology

Goodman funded the spadefoot toad project by the Catalan Society of Herpetology to reintroduce the Iberian spadefoot toad to its natural habitat in Molins de Rei, Barcelona. Seventeen ponds were dug, creating the perfect breeding conditions for this beautiful little creature. 

Introducing the spadefoot toad

Spadefoot toads are about 10 cm in length and are often found digging, spending much of their time in the ground. To facilitate burrowing, they require open areas and ponds with loose soils where they lay their eggs. However, as open spaces are becoming scarcer, especially in the Barcelona region, the spadefoot toad is having difficulty reproducing, which is precisely why Goodman and the Catalan Society of Herpetology joined forces.

The spadefoot toad project

Seventeen ponds were set up near Goodman’s plant in Molins de Rei to provide the perfect breeding conditions for the amphibians. Water quality, as well as vegetation, were carefully analysed before animals were allowed. The newly created ponds were populated by collecting and releasing spadefoot tadpoles and larvae coming from poor-quality ponds across Catalonia. Before being released into their new habitat, they underwent a thorough veterinary and epidemiological investigation and were put in quarantine. In addition, all existing ponds in Les Llicorelles were examined too, and a number of improvements were made to improve the habitat.

Raising awareness

To protect the toads in the area and push biodiversity in the Barcelona area forward, the Catalan Society of Herpetology started an information campaign, pointing out the value of the ponds, and the need to respect them. Amphibian populations, in general, are probably the most threatened animals on the planet, with at least one-third of the species currently endangered. With the help of Goodman, this project has managed to liberate 2,500 specimens.