Evolution of the project Life Tritó Montseny
Bathing not allowed
15/07/2021 10:34 h.
The aim is to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases that cause death to amphibians.
The Montseny Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve has signposted the accesses to the main rivers, streams and pools with 'No bathing allowed' signs (according to Decree 148/92, article 6.2). The reason is to avoid the possibility of bathers transmitting infectious diseases that cause death to amphibians, especially to protect the Montseny newt (Calotriton arnoldi), an endemic species in danger of extinction. Thus, this summer we ask for respect and civility when visiting rivers and streams. The rangers of the Natural Park together with other security forces will work to maximize vigilance in these areas.
In recent years there has been a notable decline in amphibian populations worldwide and 41% of known species are threatened (International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2020). One of the main factors causing this decline is infectious diseases caused by fungi, viruses or other pathogens, which can lead to massive deaths of individuals. Chytridiomycosis and infection by ranavirus are the infectious diseases detected that seriously affect amphibians.
The objective of Life Tritó Montseny is to preserve the species and its habitat. The entry of pathogens causing these deadly diseases is a serious threat to the wild populations of this unique species as well as to other amphibian species present.
When visiting an area where these pathogens are present, spores can be transported from one place to another through clothing (especially if it is damp or wet), in mud accumulated on shoes or on salt licks, or even with the hands if they have been in contact with an infected individual. Due to the ease of transmission of these ailments, great care must be taken during activities in inland aquatic environments (rivers, streams and pools).
For this reason, in the main pools, rivers and streams of Montseny, the administration of the Natural Park asks for sensitivity when visiting these environments and not to bathe in rivers, streams, pools or ponds. The riverside habitats are very sensitive natural environments whose conservation is a priority and human recreational activities can deteriorate these areas.
The regulations of the 1977 Montseny Special Plan, in article 33, prohibits bathing outside the authorized places, and also Decree 148/1992, article 6.2, regulates that authorization is required for bathing in natural areas of special protection.
Likewise, the Life Tritó Montseny project has worked on the drafting of a manual of good practices with recommendations for environmental education activities and safe discovery of the streams.