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."