LFA für Feldherpetologie und Ichthyofaunistik

LIFE AMPHIKULT 350 Ponds for Lower Saxony

Welcome to the website of the LIFEproject AMPFHIKULT which is being carried out by Lower Saxony's Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). We provide information on the project's background, the measures to be taken as well as news updates.

Mapping of amphibians proves measurements to be sucessful

November 2014

Results from five areas

The amphibian population at altogether 123 water bodies, which were newly created or restored as objectives of LIFE AMPHIKULT, were surveyed and mapped in the spring of 2014. The survey primarily serves to monitor the success of the water body creation and restoration.One objective was the surveying of water bodies created within the first two project years, 2010 and 2011. Here, a colonisation by the European tree frog and Moor frog was most likely since they preferably populate water bodies with a specific type of vegetation. Another objective was the surveying of two areas in which water bodies had been newly created for the target species Natterjack toad, since this species tends to populate new areas rather quickly.The recently presented results of the surveying and mapping executed at the Ökologische Schutzstation Steinhuder Meer, the BUND Diepholzer Moorniederung, and the Naturschutzring Dümmer e.V. impressively document the success of the building measures.

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Clumps of Moor frog spawn in the Aschener Moor / Western Diepholz Lowland bog and Hunte Valley, Photograph by Frank Körner

European tree frog tadpole from the Marler Fladder, Photograph: Markus Richter                                                          

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Young Natterjack toads, Photograph: Markus Richter

Twenty new water bodies for the European green toad

October 2014

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The European green toad is the most rare amphibian species in Lower Saxony; it is classified as an "extinction endangered species".As one objective of the project AMPHIKULT, extensive measures for the protection of this species have been realized in recent weeks. At Lake Heerter in the city of Salzgitter, which marks the specie's westernmost population in Lower Saxony, seven new spawning grounds were created at the lake shore area.Up to now, only the lake itself was available as a spawning ground for the European green toad. The fish population in the lake, however, highly restricts the reproductive success. The newly created spawning grounds will likely stay free of fish in the long run since they are not connected to the lake and occasionally dry out completely.

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New spawning grounds for the European green toad at Lake Heerter

In the open pit mine Treue in the Helmstedt district, six new water bodies were created, four existing ones were restored. The area was made available by courtesy of the Helmstedter Revier GmbH. Extensive open areas are still at hand in the open pit mine and could serve the European green toad as terrestrial habitat. The lack of suitable spawning grounds has thus been rectified.

Excavations at the open pit mine Treue


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from left: Reinhard Wagner (NABU Helmstedt), Ewald Löwe (Helmstedter Revier GmbH), Dr. Markus Richter and Jennifer Wimmer (NABU Lower Saxony)

Addition to the NABU LIFE AMPHIKULT project team

August 2014

We’re pleased to welcome a new member of our AMPHIKULT team: Jennifer Wimmer

The LIFE-AMPHIKULT project team of NABU Lower Saxony:

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Marion Müller, Jennifer Wimmer und Dr. Markus Richter (Photograph: Ralf Berkhan)

Biologist Jennifer Wimmer M.S. (Dipl.-Biologin) started work with the team on 18 August. She will devote herself primarily to the protection of the European green toad in the new project areas in Helmstedt, Wolfenbüttel, and Salzgitter.

We welcome Jennifer Wimmer and look forward to working with her!


Workshop at the Dümmer lake "Creation and Care of Amphibian Spawning Ground" July 2014

July 2014

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Just short of 40 participants from all parts of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bavaria gathered at the Schäferhof near Lake Dümmer to participate in a workshop on "Creation and Management of Amphibian Spawning Grounds." The seminar took place as part of NABU Lower Saxony's LIFE-AMPHIKULT project and was executed in cooperation with the Naturschutzring Dümmer e.V. (a local nature conservation and environmental protection organisation) as well as the Regional Expert Committee on Field Herpetology and Ichthyofaunistics.

Measuring results at the new AMPHIKULT ponds

April 2014

Surveying work and mapping has begun

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First European Tree Frogs arrive at new AMPHIKULT Water Bodies

Within the last four years, altogether 173 small water bodies were either newly created or restored as part of the LIFE AMPHIKULT project. These measures are aimed at stabilizing and interconnect the amphibian populations in the project areas. The ongoing survey is to reveal whether or not this target will actually be achieved. Three external expert surveyor teams will document the occurrence of the target species at 109 water bodies in five of the project areas. First interim results have already substantiated the measures' success. For instance, Moor frogs were documented at 15 of the 18 monitored water bodies in the regions of Aschener Moor and Lange Lohe (project area Western Diepholz Lowland bog and Hunte Valley). All in all, more than 100 animals, which had already deposited over 500 clumps of spawn, were counted. Hence, the Moor frog population has approximately quadrupled.

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Calling Moor Frogs at Aschener Moor

Due to the warm weather of recent weeks, amphibian species that usually spawn later in the year have already visited the ponds. Calling European tree frogs were reported in several areas and individual Common spade foot were encountered as well. At a sandpit near Vechta, where a new pond had been completed recently, the Natterjack toads had already deposited their spawn. Apart from the target species, more common amphibian species make use of the water bodies as well. Over 500 common toads thus were also counted at the aforementioned 18 water bodies.

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Natterjack Toad

In the weeks to come, the reproductive success of the target species will be surveyed as part of the monitoring efforts. In addition, a structural mapping of all water bodies is planned. Surveys at the remaining water bodies of the project are scheduled for next spring.