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LFA für Feldherpetologie und Ichthyofaunistik

Background

Amphibians are among the most threatened animal species worldwide. The reasons for this are manifold. In Central Europe, the loss of suitable habitats due to drainage and intensive agriculture has resulted in drastic declines in their populations - the loss of adequate spawning grounds being a key factor. During recent decades, countless smaller water bodies were filled with waste or, as a result of extensive drainage, have dried up. Nutrient leaching from neighbouring fields has caused excessive plant growth. This has led to numerous water bodies having simply become overgrown. 

Especially the rather shallow bodies of water that carry water only seasonally are in danger of disappearing and their numbers have considerably decreased. But precisely this type of water body is of particular importance to the endangered amphibian species. The flat, unshaded water warms up rather quickly - an essential prerequisite for the development of the spawn of the European Tree Frog. This kind of shallow water mostly falls dry during late summer and does not constitute a problem for the young frogs that by then have left the pond. This falling dry also prevents fish and other predators of the tadpoles from settling in.  

Hence, the primary goal of the LIFE AMPFHIKULT project  is to create and restore such smaller water bodies with only periodic flow.

Due to the drastic decline in species, many populations today are rather small in number and isolated from one another. As a result, gene flow and population support through immigration are extremely limited - if not impossible. The connecting of the isolated populations, thus, is one of the project’s objectives. An additional goal is the natural recolonisation of areas which, due to nature conservation measures, now exhibit favourable conditions for amphibians. Therefore, the project also includes measures that are carried out outside of protection areas.