Managing amphibian habitats along the Vechte River
© Tierpark Nordhorn
To restore and manage habitat for amphibians in Germany
There are 21 native amphibian species in Germany. 16 of these are considered threatened at the national level and have been included in the country's Red List. 2 species are considered to be critically endangered, 5 endangered, 5 vulnerable, and 2 near threatened. One more is rare due to its limited range within the country, and another is declining.
While chytrid fungus, a pathogen causing worldwide dramatic losses in amphibians, does occur in Central Europe, it does not appear to be the reason for the overall precarious situation of the German amphibians. The main reasons are rather habitat loss and fragmentation, and the high number of migrating animals being killed by road traffic.
As part of the long-term Amphibian Conservation Programme of the zoos, animal parks and wildlife parks in the German-speaking area, at least 27 institutions have decided to take measures to improve the survival of amphibians locally, i.e. on their properties or in their neighbourhood. Activities include monitoring and research, rehabilitation or creation of habitats, and, where necessary, translocations and reintroductions. These activities are accompanied by educational programme.
Along the Vechte River, which borders the Nordhorn Animal Park, a number of
small wetlands were created on land owned by The Bentheim County Nature
Conservation Foundation, as habitats for amphibians and birds such as
lapwings or meadow species. Over the years, bush encroachment reduced
the usefulness of these habitats for the birds. During
winter 2008/2009 Nordhorn Animal Park, therefore, undertook management
measures with a view of restoring the wetlands. The area is currently
home to the common toad (Bufo bufo), the grass frog (Rana temporaria) and the green frogs (Rana esculenta complex), and is also a potentiao habitat for the European tree frog (Hyla arborea). In the part of the Vechte foodplain situated within the Animal Park’s property, a
nature trail was developed in 2007 which does not only allow visitors
to observe dabchicks, crested grebes, moorhens, coots, kingfisher,
marsh warblers etc., but where the public is also informed about the
necessity of protecting oxbows, riverine forests and swamps.
WAZA Conservation Project 08027 is implemented by the Nordhorn Animal Park in collaboration with the Bentheim County Nature Conservation Foundation, the local nature conservation authorities and the local sections of BUND and NABU.
> to project overview
© Tierpark Nordhorn