Even if the weather is cold in November, the rivers of Leaota are full of life. Vertebrates and invertebrates find in these clean waters good conditions to thrive. On the river sides, alder seedlings try to become forest and the rotten trees become shelter for plants and animals.
The European bullhead (Cottus gobio) and trout (Salmo trutta) were easily found in the rivers during a rapid scientific assessment conducted by FCC’s scientists. These species are wide-spread in the mountain rivers crossing the Wildland’s old forests.
The bullhead is protected according to national and European laws. This small fish lives in cold, clear, fast-flowing small streams and in middle-sized rivers, eating invertebrates and occasionally even young trout juveniles.
The biology of this species is quite interesting. The male digs a shallow hollow in which batches of eggs are deposited by several females. Then, the male guards the nest until the eggs hatch.