This amphibian news may be of interest to my friend birdhousefrog, the part-time chicken goddess, who is recovering from bronchitis.
A new toad was discovered in Spain last year, Alytes obsetricans perynas: the pertinacious midwife toad. It won the name "pertinacious" because unlike many other amphibians, it is survives human habitation.
In fact, it seems to live only in the public fountains that have been fixtures of Spanish cities and towns since Roman times. We tend to think of the big ornamental fountains that grace postcards, but if you get off the tourist track, you see smaller ones all over that for centuries used to be (and sometimes still are) used for drinking water, washing clothes, and watering horses, as well as for their beauty. Nice damp places. Toads like them a lot, it seems.
About 150 new species of animals are discovered in Spain each year. Many are insects or microscopic, but a few are surprisingly big.
This English-language blog talks about Spanish wildlife. News about the new toad is mentioned in the Nov. 26, 2006, entry: