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Coneix el riu

Various species of amphibians, reptiles and mammals live in rivers and wetland areas. Some depend only on the aquatic environment to ensure the growth of their larvae, like salamanders and toads. Other amphibians, like newts and toads also live in the water year-round. Many species feed in water and in have found it to be the perfect breeding environment, such as the pond turtle, the viperine water snake and the otter. A large number of land animals also come to the river in search of food, shelter, or a place to breed: genets, foxes, slow-worms, grass snakes and Daubenton’s bats, among many others.

River Species

	Mediterranean pond turtle

Mediterranean pond turtle
Mauremys leprosa

	Viperine water snake

Viperine water snake
Natrix maura

	Salamander

Salamander
Salamandra salamandra

	Pyrenean newt

Pyrenean newt
Calotriton asper

	Southern water vole

Southern water vole
Arvicola sapidus

	Pyrenean desman

Pyrenean desman
Galemys pyrenaicus

	Eurasion water shrew

Eurasion water shrew
Neomis fodiens

	Common otter

Common otter
Lutra lutra

	Daubenton’s bat

Daubenton’s bat
Myotis daubentonii

Long-fingered bat

Long-fingered bat
Myotis capaccinii

	Common frog

Common frog
Rana temporaria

Pond Species

	European pond turtle

European pond turtle
Emys orbiculata

	Iberian waterfrog

Iberian waterfrog
Pelophylax perezi

Common midwife toad

Tòtil
Common midwife toad

	Natterjack toad

Natterjack toad
Bufo calamita

	Iberian spadefoot toad

Iberian spadefoot toad
Pelobates cultripes

Common parsley frog

Common parsley frog
Pelodytes punctatus

	Iberian ribbed newt

Iberian ribbed newt
Pleurodels waltl

	Marbled newt

Marbled newt
Triturus marmoratus

Palmate newt

Palmate newt
Lissotriton helveticus

Riverside Wood Species

	Grass snake

Grass snake
Natrix natrix

	European asp

European asp
Vipera aspis

	Montpellier snake

Montpellier snake
Malpolon monspessulanus

	Slow-worm

Slow-worm
Anguis fragilis

	Common genet

Common genet
Genetta genetta

	Beech marten

Beech marten
Martes foina

Fox

Fox
Vulpes vulpes

Badger

Badger
Meles meles

Wood mouse

Wood mouse
Apodemus slvaticus

Algerian mouse

Algerian mouse
Mus spretus

	Common shrew

Common shrew
Crocidura russula

Bank vole

Bank vole
Myodes glareolus

Wild boar

Wild boar
Sus scrofa

Brown rat

Brown rat
Rattus norvegicus

Mediterranean tree frog

Mediterranean tree frog
Hyla meridionalis

	Common toad

Common toad
Bufo bufo

Tracks and Pawprints

Mammals are generally shy and active at night or in the early hours of the day or night, which makes them difficult to see. Evidence of their presence is often seen in the tracks, droppings or burrows they leave behind.
Common otter

Common otter
Lutra lutra

American mink

American mink
Neovison vison

Fox

Fox
Vulpes vulpes

Beech marten

Beech marten
Martes foina

Common genet

Common genet
Genetta genetta

Badger

Badger
Meles meles

Wild boar

Wild boar
Sus scrofa

Brown rat

Brown rat
Rattus norvegicus

The Lifecycle of a Common Midwife Toad (Alytes ostetricians)

Amphibians are strictly aquatic creatures, most of their offspring and their eggs thrive in water. In their adult phase of life, some species, such as newts or frogs remain their entire lives in an aquatic environment, while others, like common toads only return to the water for breeding purposes. In the case of the common midwife toad, the eggs are carried by the male and therefore only the larvae are aquatic.
Cicle de vida de un tòtil

The Pond Turtle

The pond turtle lives in a wide variety of Mediterranean-type environments (bodies of water below 600 m). Although they are able to tolerate water with some degree of pollution and a marked human influence, their populations have been affected by the introduction of invasive non-native species, such as large predatory fish or foreign turtles. They are also sensitive to the alteration of their normal breeding habitats, as they lay their eggs in meadows and fields near rivers and ponds.
Tortuga de rierol

Mediterranean pond turtle
Mauremys leprosa

Native Species

There are a large number of native species throughout the Mediterranean basin. These species are often distributed in a minor and localised way. Among these, the Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), which was discovered in 2005 in this Catalan massif, is worth a mention. Its estimated population is between 1,000 and 1,500 animals, in 7 small rivers in an area of some 25 km2, in the Tordera basin.
Tritó del Montseny

Tritó del Montseny
Calotriton arnoldi

Invasive Species

An increasing number of non-native species are being found in our rivers as a direct and indirect result of human actions.

American mink

American mink
Neovison vison

Present in Catalonia since the early 1980s after escaping from two fur farms in the Osona region. It now lives throughout Catalonia.

Iberian newt

Iberian newt
Triturus boscai

This animal, although common in the Iberian Peninsula, is not a native species of Catalonia, although it may be found in El Pla de la Calma, on the Montseny massif.

	Mediterranean painted frog

Mediterranean painted frog
Discoglossus pictus

Originally from North Africa, it is believed to have arrived on a boat in the Rosselló region of France, and from there it crossed the border over the Pyrenean hills of the Serra de l’Albera. It has now spread as far south as the Llobregat Delta (Barcelona).

Pond terrapin

Pond terrapin
Trachemys scripta

The large-scale commerce and the release of pet terrapins into the wild has encouraged the spread of this species throughout Catalonia. It adapts easily and breeds prolifically.

Illustrations: © Toni Llobet