Kingdom of the Water Dragons

26th of June 2011


Popular excursion

“They really do look like little dragons!” a participant of the excursion spontaneously exclaimed while spotting a crested newt larva.


Sixteen people had accepted an invitation by NABU Niedersachsen and the Naturschutzring Dümmer to join an excursion to the “Kingdom of the Water Dragon”. Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of NABU Niedersachsen's LIFE AMPHIKULT project and Ulrike Marxmeier, staff member of the Naturschutzring Dümmer, provided the participants with insights into the mostly hidden life of frogs and newts. The tadpoles of the pool frog and the European tree frog, as well as the larvae of common and crested newt, could be observed at close range at an expanse near the Thielmannshorst which was designed by the Lake Dümmer Nature Park authority. The newt larvae's outer gills, together with the fringe of skin on its tail and back, are responsible for their dragon-like appearance and were of particular interest. While these features degenerate before the shore leave of the larvae, participants were nevertheless able to witness three grown specimens of the crested newt that exhibited an impressive body length of 18 cm. A report on NABU Niedersachsen's amphibian protection project "LIFE AMPHIKULT" completed the extensive information provided on the amphibians' way of life.