The current endangerment of the Fire Salamander in Europe is low. But the Fire Salamander is on the pre-endangered species list in Germany and Austria. This list comprises species, which are not currently endangered, but it is to worry that they will get endangered in the next ten years. The assets are decreasing regionally because they are linked to habitats that are getting rare. In the case of the Fire Salamander, it is the combination of brush-rich habitats, which are pervaded with small headstreams. Like most other amphibians, Fire Salamanders suffer from severe habitat destruction brought about by modern agriculture, road building and river regulation. The Fire Salamander is on the Red List of amphibians and reptilians in Austria, classified as near threatened (NT), and on the Red List of amphibians and reptilians in Salzburg, classified as vulnerable (VU). On the European level, the Fire Salamander is protected according to Article III in the “Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (Bern, 19.9.1979)”. Therefore, it is not allowed to touch Fire Salamanders (as all other amphibians and reptiles) or disturb them in any way! If you see a Fire Salamander, just enjoy the moment and watch them, in case taking a picture of these beautiful animals very carefully!
During the past 50 years, streams and fonts suffered heavy damages. Many fonts have been drained or obstructed because of agricultural invasions or the building of hydropower stations. These reasons caused a noticeable decrease of Fire Salamanders in the past 40-50 years.
The following protection measures are very important for the survival of the Fire Salamander:
• Preserving micro habitat structures, like holes under trees, caves and stone-clefts in forests as summer- and winter-hideouts.
• Protecting existing spawning waters and recreating lost spawning waters.
• The loss of deciduous forests, which have been widely replaced with conifers in the past centuries, has to be stopped.
• Temporary blocking of forest-roads to any kind of traffic at the time of migrations of female salamanders in spring.
• In short, rebuilding destroyed habitats and preserving current habitats of Fire Salamanders!!!
Fire salamanders are frequently found only some millimeters thick, killed on streets or forest roads. They cross these streets mostly during rainy nights when they migrate from their terrestrial habitats to their spawning waters. Also migration from summer to winter habitats often leads to many road kills. If you know streets in deciduous forests where fire salamanders live, drive carefully (<30 km/h) and if possible, place a road sign along the street to indicate drivers to the crossing salamanders!!!
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