LFA für Feldherpetologie und Ichthyofaunistik

LIFE AMPHIKULT 350 Ponds for Lower Saxony

Welcome to the website of the LIFEproject AMPFHIKULT which is being carried out by Lower Saxony's Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). We provide information on the project's background, the measures to be taken as well as news updates.

New habitat for Natterjack Toad and European Green Toad

February 2014

Last measures to be carried out before the next amphibian season

2014 GehölzentfernungNARI

Shrub removal by dredger (Photo: Naturschutzring Dümmer e.V.)

The continuous mild weather heralds spring; first frogs and toads have started to migrate to their spawning grounds. It's high time thus to complete building measures in the project areas so that the amphibians can reproduce undisturbed. First project measures for the European green toad in the Helmstedt district started in mid-February. In a quarry that was left open, woody plants were cut back and raw soil was created to enhance the range of suitable terrestrial habitats. The intended creation of new spawning grounds, however, had to be postponed until the summer since the ground was too wet to operate construction machines on. Measures for the Natterjack toad in a sand pit in the Vechta district are currently still underway. Dredgers are being used here to clear the area of woody plants. The woody plants are successfully being pushed back; in fact, the rootstocks are also removed in order to prevent new sprouting.   At the same time, this creates raw soil which will serve the Natterjack toad for day-time hiding places and foraging. Weather permitting, new spawning grounds are to be created in this area as well. The Natterjack toads will be able to use the ponds for reproduction within just a few weeks.

2014 Rohboden Helmstedt

Raw soil creation (Photo M. Richter)

Workshop announcement

Workshop 'Creation and Management of Amphibian Spawning Grounds'

Saturday, 12 July 2014

2014 Bagger1FrankKoerner AnkSem

January 2014


As part of NABU Lower Saxony's LIFE-AMPHIKULT project, a seminar on "Creation and Care of Amphibian Spawning Grounds" was offered. The seminar, which was executed in cooperation with the Regional Expert Committee on Field Herpetology and Ichthyofaunistics, as well as the Naturschutzring Dümmer e.V. (a local nature conservation and environmental protection organisation), is targeted mainly at volunteers.

It will take place on 12 July 2014 in the "Alte Schafstall" ("Old Sheep Pen") of the Schäferhof (Sheep yard) at the Dümmer in 49448 Stemshorn.

For an entire day, the seminar will deal with the key aspects of creating amphibian spawning grounds. Next to issues of size, depth and pond hydrology for the various target species, questions as to site selection, mandatory licenses and how to find a suitable civil engineering company will be discussed. The seminar will also deal with the issues of cost and funding possibilities, as well as necessary long-term maintenance and management. An excursion to several water bodies in the Dümmer Lowlands will round out the event schedule.

A participation fee of 20€ will be charged for the seminar. The detailed programme and a registration form will be available at in due time.

On- site project information

January 2014

First information boards erected

Tafel Bückeburg 2Tafel Liekwegen 2Tafel NAB 5-001

Bückeburg Lowland                                                     At Liekwegen Quarry                          At Lake Steinhude                                                                    

One of LIFE-AMPHIKULT's basic objectives is to inform the public about the project’s targets, measures and successes. The information boards that will be erected at strategic sites constitute one element of the information concept. Besides heavy visitor traffic the geographic proximity to implemented measures is among the criteria for determining a selected location. Ideally, the newly created water bodies can be viewed directly when standing at the information boards. First boards were recently erected at three sites. In coordination with responsible authorities, great care was taken to prevent a great multitude of distracting boards. Moreover, on-site circumstances, such as boards from other projects, were also taken into consideration. Thus, the particular layout of the information boards at the Bückeburg Lowland area was adopted from the look and set-up of the City of Bückeburg’s so-called info blocks. The new set-up was likewise adopted for existing smaller boards and guideposts at Liekwegen Quarry. Beside general information on the project and on Natura 2000 - the European networking of protected areas - the boards display details on the implemented measures in the relevant project areas.




Measures in the Diepholz Lowland bog area completed

December 2013

AMPHIKULT water bodies: 26 newly created and 5 restored

2013 12 05 Akt NAB 5 KB

Covering an area of more than 12.000 ha, the Diepholz Lowland bog area constitutes the largest project area of LIFE-AMPHIKULT. The varied landscape, comprising raised bogs and fens, inland dunes and wet grassland, is populated by all of the project's target species, with the exception of the European green toad. Thus, this area was a focal point for the implementation of measures. At the outset of the project, 29 water bodies were to be either newly created or restored. First measures were implemented in the autumn of 2011 and the final water bodies were completed very recently. Today, there are a total of 31 ponds; the projected number was thus actually exceeded by two. The planning and construction was managed by Kai Backhaus of the BUND Diepholz Lowland bog area. "LIFE-AMPHIKULT has benefited significantly from the BUND’s sound knowledge of the terrain and its extensive experience," according to project manager Dr. Markus Richter.   "Co-operation was exemplary." Everybody involved is eagerly anticipating the amphibian survey at the new water bodies which is scheduled for next spring.

2013 12 05 Akt NAB 7 MR 2

NABU is both and successful

350 ponds for Lower Saxony- EU commission visits LIFE AMPHIKULT project

Hanover, 17 October 2013

One objective of the LIFE-AMPHIKULT project of NABU Lower Saxony is to implement concrete measures for endangered amphibians. Fifty percent of the project’s funding is provided by the European Union's LIFE+ Nature Programme and this circumstance was reason enough for the EU Commission to examine the project's progress at close range. Rosemarie Hingsammer and Brunhilde Rack, both representing the EU Commission, were escorted by Ruth Brauer of Particip GmbH who guides the project’s executing body on behalf of the EU Commission.

In the morning, Dr. Markus Richter, senior project manager at NABU, presented the project's status quo to an audience comprising EU Commission representatives, representatives of the Federal and State Ministry for the Environment and the involved districts, as well as site managers and amphibian experts.

The afternoon was reserved for an inspection of the implemented measures at the Liekwegen Quarry in the district of Schaumburg. As early as the Winter of 2010/2011, the area had been cleared of shrubs and an electric fence was put up to preserve the quarry as an amphibian habitat. Last winter saw the creation of numerous new, small water bodies. These ponds tend to be only a few square metres in size and serve as spawning grounds for the Natterjack toad in particular. Efficiency monitoring conducted in the spring documented the impressive success of the measures taken. The Natterjack toads accepted quite a few of the new water bodies as spawning grounds and the number of spawning toads increased considerably. Numerous young toads were subsequently reported. Dr. Holger Buschmann, NABU Lower Saxony's regional chairman, was particularly pleased: "What is more, the European tree frog – the so-called “frog king” – is reported to have returned to the quarry as a consequence of the project’s measures. The last sighting of this species was documented in the Buckeberg region way back in the 1980s."