Hi everyone!
The place where we are conducting our project is located in Arrigorriaga, a village situated in Bilbao (Basque Country, Northern Spain). It is a mountainous area with altitude varying from 60 to 320 m.a.s.l. across the quarries. According to Koppen Classification, climate is oceanic-cbf, with annual rainfalls of 1150 mm and average temperature of 13.5ºC (Climate-data.org). Consequently, natural vegetation comprises deciduous forest with oaks, ashes, hazelnuts and birch trees, as well as shrublands of heather and gorse. However, due to forest exploitation, the radiata pine was introduced and is widely spread in the area.
The main extracted minerals are marl and limestone. Nowadays, there are two fronts for each mineral. Quarries are working since 1963 and the forecast is to continue at least 100 years more. As a consequence of the exploitation, the substrate turns impermeable and water remains for several months or even the entire year. This provides an interesting habitat for species of vegetation and fauna, especially those which develop inside the water. In addition, the big amount of rocks also supplies refuge for several species.
Amphibians are one of the groups which take more advantage from these sites. However, we don´t know how they can breed and move between ponds, due to the continuous human intervention.