New ponds well-filled

February 2011

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Last autumn, the first new water bodies of the Amphikult project were completed. The excavators had left a scene that rather resembled a building site: a small puddle at the bottom of a muddy building pit. In the meantime, the scene has changed considerably.

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Thanks to the precipitation of the last months, the water bodies have become well-filled. By now, many are brimming to the rim and already fit the picture of how a pond should look. "In the course of the upcoming vegetation period, the first plants will start to grow in the water and on the banks. By then, little will be left to remind us of the excavators' work" according to project manager Dr. Markus Richter. Whether or not the first toads will show up for spawning with the coming spring depends on several factors: Some species won't settle until more extensive vegetation has developed over the next few years. Not the Natterjack Toad, though. This toad's preferred spawning grounds are absolutely bare bodies of water. Indeed, it often disappears after a few years when a pond has become too overgrown with vegetation. Now and then, Natterjack Toads are to be found at actual building sites or in sand pits. "What humans might find rather ugly can be amazingly attractive to the Natterjack Toad".