Mapping of amphibians proves measurements to be sucessful

November 2014

Results from five areas

The amphibian population at altogether 123 water bodies, which were newly created or restored as objectives of LIFE AMPHIKULT, were surveyed and mapped in the spring of 2014. The survey primarily serves to monitor the success of the water body creation and restoration.One objective was the surveying of water bodies created within the first two project years, 2010 and 2011. Here, a colonisation by the European tree frog and Moor frog was most likely since they preferably populate water bodies with a specific type of vegetation. Another objective was the surveying of two areas in which water bodies had been newly created for the target species Natterjack toad, since this species tends to populate new areas rather quickly.The recently presented results of the surveying and mapping executed at the Ökologische Schutzstation Steinhuder Meer, the BUND Diepholzer Moorniederung, and the Naturschutzring Dümmer e.V. impressively document the success of the building measures.

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Clumps of Moor frog spawn in the Aschener Moor / Western Diepholz Lowland bog and Hunte Valley, Photograph by Frank Körner

European tree frog tadpole from the Marler Fladder, Photograph: Markus Richter                                                          

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Young Natterjack toads, Photograph: Markus Richter

Thus, calling European tree frogs - altogether 400 calling males - were documented in 24 of 39 water bodies monitored at Lake Steinhude. This number by far exceeds Lower Saxony’s usual standard.In the areas of the Sachsenhager Floodplain, Marler Fladder and Western Diepholz Lowland bog and Hunte Valley, European tree frogs were also documented at numerous water bodies. Reproduction was also documented in most of these water bodies.

Moor frogs were likewise observed at quite a few water bodies. Particularly remarkable in this respect was the first documented reproduction of this species at Marler Fladder as well as the vast populations in the areas Aschener Moor/Lange Lohe (Western Diepholz Lowland bog and Hunte Valley) with more than 500 clumps of spawn.

Natterjack toads could be documented in both surveyed areas; numerous hatchlings at a former sand pit near Vechta also documented successful reproduction.

The Common spadefoot was found at only one water body at Lake Steinhude. This species is difficult to map and henceforth might be under-represented in the survey.

Common species like Common frog, Pool frog, Common toad and Common newt were not surveyed in quantity, they were, however, documented in all areas – frequently in vast numbers.   Fortunately, even though it wasn’t one of the survey’s objectives, it was possible to document larvae of Crested newt in four water bodies in two areas.

An amphibian mapping and surveying of the rest of the water bodies is scheduled for the coming spring.

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Crested newt larvae from the Hunte Valley (Photograph: Markus Richter)