(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
This weekend, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) celebrated the lives of some slimy, speckled swamp species, devoting events on Saturday to animals such as the salamander and the Hula painted frog in honor of World Wetlands Day.
World Wetlands Day, which officially occurred on Thursday, functions under the auspices of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands – an international organization established in 1971 in Iran – and the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Festivities occurred on Saturday at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Ein Afek Nature Reserve, Yarkon National Park, Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve and Eshkol National Park, demonstrating to the public the endangerment risks that wetland species are facing, the INPA said.
The Hula painted frog is a particular honoree this year, after its heroic “return from the dead” in the past year.
Although thought to be extinct since the 1950s, one of these animals was discovered in November at the hands of the INPA.
The salamander also received special attention at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, as it too is currently an endangered species.
“It is estimated that today we are left with three percent of the wetland habitats that beautified Israel in the past and that were a source of biological richness,” said Shaul Goldstein, the head of the INPA, in a statement released by his office.
“Today we are making vigorous efforts to return the situation to its previous state as much as we can, and to rehabilitate part of those extensive swamps, lakes, streams and ponds that were damaged as a result of development, pollution and dehydration.”
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