A review of zooculture methods for studying rare and endangered amphibians from Russia and adjacent countries: The Timiryazev Academy experience



A.A. Kidov, E.A. Kidova, L.S. Drozdova, Ya.A. Vyatkin, R.A. Ivolga, T.E. Kondratova, K.A. Afrin, A.A. Ivanov


This article discusses the problems of rare amphibian zooculture, artificial reproduction over several generations. Amphibians have been bred in Russia for at least 150 years, but only a small number of species have become widely distributed in captivity. However, to date, the offspring of most amphibians included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation have been obtained under laboratory conditions, and since 2008, the Timiryazev Academy (Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy) has been working on the introduction of five species into the culture (Lissotriton lantzi, Ommatotriton ophryticus, Triturus karelinii, Bufo verrucosissimus и Epidalea calamita). Two-to-four generations of these species were obtained under artificial conditions and work was carried out to identify optimal content densities, temperature conditions, photoperiod, and diet. This enabled technology of laboratory reproduction to be developed. This review presents some original methods for housing, feeding, and breeding these species. We believe that the main obstacle for implementation to the zooculture of rare amphibian species in Russia and neighboring countries is the shortage of live food insects; this drawback does not allow us to create sufficiently large and genetically diverse groups of amphibians. One promising area of research is the search for new feed objects that have high nutritional value, simplicity, and low cost of cultivation as well as a high rate of biomass growth.




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