Photo: NABU Lower Saxony
The construction of raw soil areas and small water bodies took centre stage at a joint event organised by LIFE AMPHIKULT and the BPBV's Yellow-Bellied Toad Project (Bundesprogramm Biologische Vielfalt = Federal Programme for Biodiversity). The project "Consolidation and Integration of Yellow-Bellied Toad Populations in Germany", which is operated by NABU Lower Saxony, is one of the objectives of the Federal Programme for Biodiversity. Their project partners from Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and North Rhine- Westphalia were invited to the Centre of Nature and Environmental Protection in Rinteln for an opportunity to share project experiences.
Photo: Dr. Mirjam Nadjafzadeh (NABU Lower Saxony), manager of the Yellow-Bellied Toad Project of the Federal Programme for Biodiversity (BPBV) with representatives of project partners inspecting construction measures at the Liekwegen Quarry.
Several lectures in the morning were followed by an excursion to the Liekwegen Quarry to have a look at the execution of small water body construction. Extensive construction works are currently being carried out at this site as part of the LIFE-AMPHIKULT Project. Apart from the construction of small water bodies, extensive areas are being cleared of shrubs. This creates raw soil and improves the habitat conditions for the Natterjack toad. The yellow-bellied toad, which also inhabits the quarry, will benefit from these measures as well. Despite their small size of just a few square meters and their only temporary character, small water bodies play a major role for native amphibians. Species like the yellow-bellied toad or the Natterjack toad in particular, depend on such small water bodies for their reproduction. The small water bodies warm up quickly and allow for rapid development of spawn and larvae. The only temporary stream flow prevents a permanent settlement of the larvae's natural enemies such as newts or dragonfly larvae. Newly-created water bodies exhibiting hardly any vegetation are preferred for the reproduction of the mentioned amphibians. Therefore, the frequent removal of vegetation or the creation of new water bodies is necessary. To accomplish this, heavy equipment like chain dredgers and wheel loaders are used at the Liekwegen Quarry. In addition to the usual method of digging out the water bodies with an excavator, so-called traffic lane water bodies are also created: Driving a wheel loader repeatedly over wet ground creates traffic lanes that fill with water over time. Driving over the ground repeatedly makes the bottom of the water bodies tight enough for a sufficient period of time to allow successful reproduction of the amphibians. Thus, numerous spawning grounds can be created in a short period of time.
For further information about the Yellow-Bellied Toad Project (in German), please visit