EDGE Community

Project information

[Project name/title]
The ecology and conservational status of Pelobates varaldii from the coastal areas of Morocco

[Project description/overview]


Project type:

Relevant EDGE species:
Moroccan Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates varaldii)

Project members:
Philip de Pous
Wouter Beukema

Relevant species
37. Moroccan Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates varaldii) EN

This species spends half of the year in a dormant state underground.

[Relevance description]
The aim of this study is to research the ecology, phylogenetics and conservational status (distribution and threats) of Pelobates varaldii. Also samples to detect Chytridiomycosis will be taken during the study period.
Project summary
Our research team consists of three members. Philip de Pous, Diederik Dingemans and Eric van der Pol. We will conduct fieldwork on the ecology and conservational status of Pelobates varaldii in Morocco starting November 2008.

This project is conducted by the Society for the Preservation of Herpetological Diversity in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein. The project is part of a wider project concerning the endemic amphibians of Morocco.

This project will be linked to the project:
'Environmental characteristics and population census of three endemic amphibians of Morocco (North Africa): implications for conservation' conducted by David Donaire Barroso (U.K.), El Hassan El Mouden, Tahar Slimani (Morocco) & Juan Pablo Gonzalez de la Vega (Spain).

In 2009/2010 possible new researches on the Moroccan amphibians may be conducted.
1. Ecology
2. Conservational status
3. Phylogenetics
After the first ten weeks of research, the team have been pleased to find that P. varaldii is still abundant within the Mamora forest; tadpoles were present in almost every temporary pond surveyed within the forest. Data has been collected on approximately 150 adult individuals, providing valuable information on population demography and morphological characteristics, which until now have been little-studied.

Sadly, the team were not so successful when searching in the easternmost part of the species' range - here there was no sign of P. varaldii despite searches in several locations where this toad was once encountered.

Figure 1: The map below is the result of a predictive distribution model for P. varaldii (made by Wouter Beukema).
Start date: November 2008
Duration: Approximately one year
Project members
Philip de Pous : Researcher

Philip is an amphibian ecology and conservation researcher

[Member role description]
Wouter Beukema : Research Assistant

Wouter is an undergraduate student studying amphibians.

[Member role description]
Project partners
Diederik Dingemans
Eric van der Pol
David Donaire-Barroso
Wouter Beukema
El Hassan El Mouden
Martijn Weterings
[Title:] Moroccan Spadefoot Toad
[Image caption]
Pelobates varaldii
[Title:] Project location
[Image caption]
Mamora forest, Morocco
Associated Blog Posts
24th Feb 09
We have just received this blog from EDGE Community member Philip de Pous, with an updated on his current work in Morocco: After ten weeks of research in ...  Read

[Title:] Activities
[Image caption]
Pond survey
[Title:] Moroccan Spadefoot Toad
[Image caption]
Adult and tadpoles
[Title:] Moroccan Spadefoot Toad
[Image caption]
Pelobates varaldii
[Title:] Moroccan Spadefoot Toad
[Image caption]
Pelobates varaldii