Stronghold of the European tree frog

February 2012

Population survey documents importance of the Diepholz district for this endangered amphibian species

More than a hundred water bodies populated by the European tree frog classify the Diepholz district as one of Lower Saxony's core areas for this rare amphibian species. This is one of the results of a population survey conducted by Gunnar Muegge of Sulingen and Dr. Markus Richter of the LIFE+ AMPHIKULT project of Nabu Niedersachsen. The amphibian experts spent numerous mild spring nights over the past two years listening for the calls of the male tree frogs in the district and bordering areas. The males try to attract females by their calling, which allows experts to deduce the number of frogs at a particular pond. There are about 1100 male tree frogs in the district as a whole. The good news: about 10 years ago, G. Muegge and his peers had once before counted the tree frogs of the Diepholz district and also came up with a little over a thousand. The population of the European tree frog has thus remained stable over the past decade. This is a remarkable result considering the species' decreasing population numbers in the rest of Central Europe. The positive population situation is owing to the extensive protective measures taken on behalf of the European tree frog and its spawning grounds in the Diepholz district. Already since 1984, the Naturschutz foundation in the Diepholz district began to tend to local water bodies by removing waste and sludge and, time and again, also created new water bodies. In the Duemmer area, the Naturschutzring Duemmer has been actively involved for several years with their European tree frog project. Recently NABU Niedersachsen has also been making an effort to protect the European tree frog and other species with their EU-funded LIFE-AMPHIKULT project. "The new population survey is an important planning basis for our project and I am extremely grateful for the extensive voluntary dedication of Gunnar Muegge", according to AMPHIKULT project manager Richter. Won over by the high quality of the survey, the editorial staff of a recognised professional journal agreed to print the results in their next issue.

Mapping the European tree frog in the Diepholz district

Mapping the European tree frog in the Diepholz district

Gunnar Mügge (l.) and Dr. Markus Richter