PROTEUS – THE OLM CONSERVATION PROJECT (Proteus anguinus)
Project title: PROTEUS – Olm conservation project (Proteus anguinus)
Partners: Croatian Herpetological Society HYLA, Croatian Biological Research Society HDBI, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of University of Zagreb
Year of the start of the project: 2013
The olm (Proteus anguinus) is one of the most unusual amphibians. With its adaptations, way of life and habitat it represents a unique world of karst. It inhabits the underground streams of karst cave systems and therefore research of this species is extremely demanding and complex. As a resident of clean waters, it is an indicator of the state of the environment and the entire ecosystem. The goal of the project is to determine the distribution and population size of the species in Croatia.
Keeping specimens at Zagreb Zoo provides us an insight into the diet, the possibility of potential breeding of the species and diseases that threaten them. Conservation of the Olm also means protection of a number of less known species that share habitat with it.