Habitat and Ecology
The North African species of Discoglossus are associated with streams, cisterns and pools of either fresh or saline water, where breeding occurs in such wetland habitats. The chief ecoregion of occurrence in North Africa is the Mediterranean woodlands and forests (World Wildlife Fund & Hogan, 2007). Terrestrial habitats in North Africa include oak forests, Nerium oleander scrub and archaeological ruins. (Salvador et al. 2009). Individuals can often be discovered hiding under rocks, in crevices and even under the bark of cork oaks (Quercus suber). It is thought that the North African occurrences can endure relatively minor habitat modification.
In southwestern Europe, habitat is generally near streams that traverse woodlands or forests. D montalentii occurrences are near freshwater; however, D. sardus may be found near brackish or freshwater systems. Furthermore, D. sardus occurs in Sardinia (including the Maddalena Archipelago and the island of San Pietro); Corsica and several small islands of the Tyrrhenian sea (Iles d'Hyères, Giglio, Montecristo); and on the Italian mainland, the species is reported from the small peninsular Monte Argentario (Tuscany). D. sardus inhabits a variety of biotopes, from the open, desolate and windy coastal zone between Bonifacio and Cap Pertusato, to the forest streams of la Forêt de Bavella, and from Mediterranean maquis at sea level to mountain conifer forests (Delaugerre and Cheylan, 1992).
On the Iberian Peninsula D. galganoi is separated from D. jeanneae by the Guadalquivir river in the southern part of its distribution, and by the saline lakes in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula. Contact zones between the two species are expected in the eastern portion of the Sierra Morena, near the Sierra de Guadarrama and along the northwestern edge of the Meseta Norte (Garcia-Paris and Jockusch, 1999). D. galganoi is mostly found in or in the direct vicinity of water. They are found in stagnant waters, in swamps and mountain streams and even in brackish waters (Noellert & Noellert, 1992).
Habitat (for D. nigriventer) in the Middle East is restricted to the Hula wetlands in northern Israel, and possibly similar adjacent habitats in Syria. The wetlands of Lake Hula were drained for mainly agricultural purposes in the 1950's, dealing a severe blow to viable habitat in this region (Disi et al. 2012).
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