The natterjack toad is spawning


dziesma, pateicoties elastīgam pakakles ādas maisam, kurš kalpo kā rezonators, dzirdama visai tāluAt the beaches of Slītere NP is spawning the natterjack toad Bufo calamita – specially protected species at European level. This amphibian is living unnoticed whole year, and only in late May the natterjack toad males get together to the rut. Then their mating song can be heard quite far because of their flexible vocal sack found under the chin, which serves as a resonator. The mating call is a little similar to nightjar’s song. The natterjack toad stands out among the rest of the amphibians’ because of their ability to lay eggs into salty water. Eggs are arranged in a row, creating up to two meters long 'string'. Tadpole hatch in about a week and after three weeks turn into small toads. The process is very fast because the natterjack toads spawn in shallow pools, which dries rapidly, so time is life.

In daytime toad is hiding in the root tangle in the dip of the bank. When on the beach at times of distress it dives and hides in a pool. Toad has very few natural enemies as he releases rammish mucus, which prevents the attacker. Very negative impact on populations has driving along the beach as hidden toad is not visible from cars or motorbikes.

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Black grouse are lekking in Slitere


Black Grouse maleSlitere National Park area is occupied by swampy forests. Numerous small bogs in the marshy depressions form an open landscape, which is very suitable for black grouse. The amount of berries is very important. It seems that also the fact that in the territory of SNP bird hunting is banned for thirty years is important - this ensure calm environment for black grouse to mate. These and probably many other factors determine that the largest grouse lek in Slitere National Park is also the largest in Latvia, Baltic States and possibly in Europe. Here in one lek counted 66 black grouse males.To Grouse lek males fly long distances. Each male occupies its territory. The most valuable areas are placed at the center of the lek. Here are lekking most experienced and strongest males. Blackcocks show off in front of the females. When the lekking has achieved its peak, greyhens display at the lek and choose a male to mate with. Apparently, when they have arrived the intensity of the lekking grows. Males strike against one another with breasts, jumps into the air and hiss loudly. At first female lands at the periphery of the lek, but then goes to the center, where she finds herself a pleasant partner. In silent and calm mornings loud rookoing (mating call) can be heard far away. Grouse males are dressed particularly splendid. Black blue feathers are contrasting with bright white. Grouse males 'eyebrows' acquires very particular red tone. Unlike the males, females are dressed very simple and yet they are precisely the ones choosing.


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