New ponds for amphibians – Excavators once again roll into action for NABU

October 2011
2011_Akt_Bagger_Foto_FKoerner
Foto: Frank Körner

The next 50 AMPHIKULT ponds for frogs and toads will be dug in various areas of Lower Saxony within the following weeks. At the end of September, the first excavating company began work at the banks of the Rehdener Geestmoor in the Diepholz District, where six new spawning grounds will be created for the moor frog, European tree frog, and pool frog. Thirty new water bodies were already created last year.

One focal point of this year's measures is the bog margins of various raised bogs in the Diepholz District. Apart from the Rehdener Geestmoor, measures are also being implemented at the Neustädter Moor, the Central and Northern Wietingsmoor as well as at the Aschener Moor. At the conclusion of the peat mining process, extended sections of most of the bogs were subjected to wetland restoration in order to give rise to growing raised bogs. The suitability of the resulting water bodies as spawning grounds for amphibians is, however, very limited. “The water in the raised bogs is naturally too acidic for the spawns of most amphibians to develop there”, according to Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of NABU. For this reason, water bodies outside of the actual bogs are necessary to offer the amphibians an opportunity for reproduction. Grassland areas exhibit favourable conditions in this respect. The new water bodies can be incorporated into the extensive agricultural land system e.g. for sheep pastures. Thus, a rapid silting-up or shading (by growing woody plants) can be prevented and the water bodies become available as spawning grounds for a more extended period of time. NABU assigned the planning and site management of the measures in the Diepholzer Moor Lowlands to the local BUND. The BUND has been active in the moors for many years and, consequently, was able to choose the sites that are best suited for the new water bodies.

Additional measures that are being implemented in the valley of the Hunte in the Vechta District are concentrated on the restoration of heavily silted-up water bodies, or water bodies shaded by woods, to bring about their re-acceptance as spawning grounds.

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Photo: Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of AMPHIKULT of NABU Lower Saxony (left), and Kai Backhaus of BUND, site manager for the Diepholz Moor Lowlands (Photo: NABU), examine the amphibian spawning ground under construction

Photo excavator: Frank Körner