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Barcelona Zoo releases endangered turtles and newts to wild

The animals, numbering over 100, were raised at the zoo

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31 October 2021 12:13 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Barcelona Zoo has reintroduced over 100 turtles and newts into the wild as part of its ongoing conservation projects.

A total of 27 brook turtles, 51 Mediterranean turtles, and 58 larvae of the Montseny newt, all listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have been relocated to their natural habitats. 

The brook turtles were released to the protected natural areas of Cal Tet, in the area of the La Ricarda lagoon just south of Barcelona. The area has been subject to intense debate this year over the proposed expansion of Barcelona airport

This is the fourth consecutive year that this species has been released into the wild. This year, 20 of the specimens were born at the zoo. 

Each turtle was marked with a specific code on the edge of the shell or a chip, which will facilitate the assessment of the creature’s adaptation to nature. 

GPS devices have been placed on some of the turtle shells in order to track them. These will record their position and body temperature and will make it possible to monitor the movement of the turtles and provide valuable information for researchers. 

Sixteen of the 51 Mediterranean turtles released this week into their natural habitats were born at the Barcelona Zoo in 2020. 

They were released in the valley of Bovera, in western Catalonia. 

Their release was part of the recovery plan for the species led by the Center for the Recovery of Reptiles and Amphibians of Catalonia (CRARC), under the direction of the Catalan government.

Also released into the wild this week were some Montseny Newts. A total of 58 of the zoo’s 500 specimens have been returned to nature. In May and June of this year, 328 creatures were reintroduced. 

Since the launch of the LIFE Tritó Montseny conservation project focuses on the newts, about 1,500 have been released.

Thanks to this reintroduction program, the free breeding of the species has multiplied in recent years. 

 

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  • Photograph of the face of an endangered Montseny newt (from Barcelona Zoo)

  • Photograph of the face of an endangered Montseny newt (from Barcelona Zoo)

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