Monday, 4 October 2010

A bad year in the Pyrenees for Alytes

2010 has not been a good year for our sentinel species, Alytes, in the outbreak sites of the Pyrenees. The season was hard due to a very cold start - our dataloggers showed that the high altitude Lakes in the Vallee d'Aspe did not thaw until the 1st of June. The amphibians consequently had to hurry their development, and the emergence of Alytes in August was late, and characterised by very high mortality due to chytridiomycosis in several of our study lakes. Lac Arlet, on the GR10 pathway, was the scene of large die-offs and the Imperial College tream found over 350 mortalities in a single day. Die-offs here were still being recorded in early September, detected by local volunteers. Whether the cold early-season is linked to these unusually high mortalities is one of the questions that is currently being worked on.

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