The spanish project team (Juan Ramón, Javier and Esther) went on the 9th of May to the primary school „Velasco y Merino“ in Villanueva del Rosario , a small town at the foot of Sierra de los Camarolos ( Málaga province).
On that day, they did the workshops related to the Austrian salamander project in different classes and levels. The main goal intended was the sensibilization of the children about amphibians in general, and about salamanders in particular. The team wanted to make the children aware that they have a „natural treasure“ at their doorstep. In fact, over there live the eastermost populations of a species in clear decline and very fragmented: the baetic salamander (Salamandra salamandra longirostris).
A total of 95 children participated in the workshops, distributed in three courses (1st, 2nd and 3rd year , Primary Education). Juan Ramón gave a talk about salamanders as amphibians and as environmental quality indicators, emphasising their estenoic ecology. At the end of the talk, a tale was told about the importance of amphibians in the quality of live of people. Afterwards, different groups were made and the children could enjoy games (memory and jigsaws), play dough modelling, salamander template drawing, and finally the star of the day, the 3D „Eva“ (Ethylene vinyl acetate ) salamanders’ workshop, a great idea from Javier.
The following day the children from the 3rd year (25 in total) went on an excursion to look for salamanders. They walked from the school grounds to a spot in the „Dehesa del Hondonero“, a place of special environmental importance in the Sierra de Camarolos.
All along the way, explanations were given about plants, insects, amphibians and reptilians.
When crossing the Parrondo stream, the group made a stop in order to talk about the habitat of salamanders. The place was a recently habilitated fountain by the local government, following suggestions from the Granada Herpetological Association for the reproduction of amphibians.
Threee salamander larvae were seen in it, in different developmental stages. The excursion was finished by playing a gymkhana on the nearby meadow.
The children looked for 4 resin salamanders hidden in the different habitats occupied by the species. As a price, buttons and T-shirts were distributed.
The way back to school was started only after having a snack. The children and the us were happy for a great morning in the countryside.