NABU’s local association of Diepholz surveys AMPHIKULT water bodies

June 2012

Dr. Markus Richter (l.) and Bernd Averbeck (4th from right) with representatives of NABU's local association in Diepholz

Representatives of NABU's local association in Diepholz appeared impressed by the numerous new amphibian spawning grounds that were created as part of the LIFE AMPHIKULT project over the past two years. Two relevant areas in the Aschen region were visited under the direction of Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of NABU’s National Association. Eighteen new spawning grounds for the European tree frog and moor frog have been created or re-developed thus far. This spring, the new spawning grounds were used by first moor frogs.

Bernd Averbeck of NABU Dummer commented the management measures. "Extensive pasturage with robust livestock is the method of choice. Reaping machines would kill numerous amphibians and leave behind uniformly cut areas that no longer offer any protection against weather and enemies for frogs and toads", explained Averbeck. Pasturage produces a mosaic of short and higher vegetation resulting in practically no casualties. Project manager Markus Richter supports this view: "We are trying to create as many water bodies as possible on pastures in the other project areas as well. This has essential advantages for the long-term protection of the water bodies." Often, woody plants settle at the banks of ponds shading the water, or a pond might become overgrown within a short period of time by abundantly growing plants near and in the water. Thus, these water bodies lose their suitability as spawning grounds, according to Richter. But if livestock is given access to the water bodies, they effectively, extensively, and cost-efficiently prevent such scrub encroachment and silting. This is something that was already observed at two water bodies that were created several years ago. Essential factors for the success of such measures are an appropriate number of livestock and, most of all, good co-operation with their owner. The representatives of NABU's local association in Diepholz were taken by the concept's hitherto success, which was demonstrated also by the colourful plants that have returned to the pastures.