AMPHIKULT seminar on the "Creation and Care of Water Bodies for Amphibians"...

July 2012

... Vechta City Hall’s auditorium was filled to the last seat!

Foto: NABU Niedersachsen

Saal im Rathaus Vechta

NABU Lower Saxony and the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation had extended an invitation to the seminar "Creation and Management of Water Bodies for Amphibians". Just under fifty people from the nature conservation administration and local associations, as well as from planning offices, participated in the seminar, which was offered as part of the amphibian conservation project LIFE-AMPHIKULT of NABU Lower Saxony. Following a welcoming address from Vechta's mayor Helmut Gels, Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of NABU Lower Saxony, began his introductory lecture by outlining the habitat requirements, population development, and endangerment causes of native amphibians.



Besides the disappearance of suitable spawning grounds and summer habitats, direct casualties due to traffic and agricultural operations play a significant role. In addition, many ponds lose acceptability as spawning grounds due to fish settlement, silting and scrub encroachment. For this reason, amphibians rank among the most endangered of all major animal groups. In their lectures, Christian Göcking of the NABU Naturschutzstation Munsterland and Hauke Drews from the Stiftung Naturschutz (Foundation Nature Conservation) Schleswig-Holstein reported on their extensive experience with the creation and management of water bodies. Extensive pasturage along the water bodies as well as their surroundings presents the most effective and cost-efficient method for the sustainable conservation of amphibian habitats. The browsing and trampling of livestock gently and effectively prevents a silting up of water bodies and the emergence of woody plants. Both speakers were able to report on impressive population jumps for the European tree frog, the European fire-bellied toad, and the Natterjack toad. Hans-Joachim Clausnitzer of NABU Celle addressed the topic of temporary water bodies in his lecture. Many rare amphibians, as well as dragonfly and crustacean species, benefit from frequent drying-up of their water bodies after reproduction. Fish and other predators of eggs and larvae are unable to settle permanently in such water bodies, which results in a high level of reproductive success for the amphibians.

Photo: NABU Lower Saxony

The second part of the seminar was an excursion to amphibian water bodies of the Vechta district in the Hunte Valley near Goldenstedt. Here, different aspects of water body management were closely inspected and discussed. The entire event was well received by the participants; a renewed visit is planned for next year.