From 19th until 21st of May we spent our time at Penijöe amphibian restoration centre in Matsalu National Park, which is located in the west of Estonia. This national park is characterized by flooded meadows, coastal meadows, reed beds and forests, it includes Matsalu Bay and the delta area of the Kasari River. Thanks to vast meadow areas next to a coast, Matsalu is important for thousands of birds who stop here during their migration in spring and autumn.
One of the projects at the restoration amphibian centre is to collect tadpoles of natterjack toad from the surrounding nature and to bring them into the facility, where biologists bring them up and finally release them back into their natural habitat. This approach is necessary for the conservation of the biodiversity, because of changing conditions of the habitats endanger the population of the toads. Estonia has the northest natterjack toad population, so here the toads are more vulnerable due to the climate and declining habitat territories.
So we helped out with some preparation of arrangements to host the toads during their next stadium of metamorphose. For this purpose we built two greenhouses, filled them with sand and covered the edges with grassy pieces of soil. This accommodation is suitable for the adult toads. Afterwards we got task to count many of tadpolles. We three counted 1537 of those tiny animals, wrote down the number and replaced them into other containers.