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Amphibians in Israel – new stamp issue

Amphibians in Israel – new stamp issue
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This stamp series presents four of the seven amphibian species currently inhabiting Israel. All four species are endangered locally or globally. Human activity has harmed the amphibian class more than other vertebrates. Due to their extreme sensitivity, amphibians serve as a bio-indicator of deterioration in the global environment. Amphibians have mainly been harmed in Israel as a result of their habitats being destroyed, but the key reason for their being endangered in the world is infectious diseases which are mostly spread as a result of trade in amphibians.

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates syriacus)

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad lives along the edges of winter pools in the Mediterranean area of Israel. There are approximately 40 known populations in Israel. The number of Eastern Spadefoot Toad populations found in Israel is decreasing, and the species is classified as being critically endangered.

Southern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton vittatus)

The Southern Banded Newt lives along the edges of winter pools in the Mediterranean area of Israel. The adults are active from the beginning of winter. The tadpoles develop over the course of a number of months, and then leave the water. This species is classified as being critically endangered in Israel.

Near Eastern Fire Salamander (Salamandra infraimmaculata)

The Near Eastern Fire Salamander lives along the edges of winter pools, streams and springs on Mt. Hermon, in the Galilee and in the Carmel mountains. Adults (up to 30 cms) are mainly active in the winter. This species is classified as being endangered in Israel.

Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer)

The Hula Painted Frog was first documented in the Hula Valley in the 1940's. Later, after not being seen since the 1950's, it was the first amphibian species in the world to be classified as being extinct. It was rediscovered in the Hula Nature Reserve in November 2011. It was recently discovered that the Hula Painted Frog belongs to a species that became extinct in Europe one million years ago. This finding means that this species is a living fossil. It is classified as being critically endangered in the world.

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