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LFA für Feldherpetologie und Ichthyofaunistik

Natterjack Toad

(Bufo calamita)

With their warty skin, horizontal pupils, and the bulging glands behind their eyes, the Natterjack Toad exhibits the typical characteristics of a true toad. They are easily distinguished from the Common Toad by the yellow line down the middle of the back and their distinctive gait which contrasts to the hopping movement of other toad species. The loud mating call of the male animal is characteristic as well.

Today, the Natterjack Toad can be found almost exclusively in sand pits or quarries. There, they find the habitat components that are essential to them: Sparsely vegetated syrosem to easily dig themselves into - or other hiding places under rocks - as well as small shallow water bodies without vegetation. In the quarrying sites, these conditions are often found in the tire tracks of heavy machines. At Lake Steinhude, the species spawn in flooded meadows as well. These water bodies have a short lifespan so that the tadpoles can develop practically without enemies or competitors. Frequently, however, reproduction is not achieved because these pools dry out too quickly.

Both, terrestrial habitats and spawning grounds are very short-lived and become relatively quickly overgrown with vegetation. In active quarrying sites, suitable new habitats are regularly formed. Conservation areas require adequate management measures to preserve the habitats for the Natterjack Toad.