Amphibian Conservation_2

To restore spawning ponds 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 programmes.

 

The Biosphere Reserve “Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft”, where the WAZA Project "Moose as Landscape Gardeners in Lusatia" also takes place, is an important area for amphibians. However, life has become difficult for frogs and toads even in the biosphere reserve due to habitat change and fragmentation, road traffic, and drainage of wetlands.

With a view of improving the reproduction rate of endangered amphibians, a project has been initiated to preserve two existing temporary wetlands.

One of the two ponds is located near Lieske, the second next to the WAZA-branded Moose Project in Dauban. They are home to the moor frog (Rana arvalis), common frog (Rana temporaria), tree frog (Hyla arborea), fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina), spadefoot (Pelobates fuscus), green toad (Bufo viridis), and crested newt (Triturus cristatus). The ponds will be protected and deepened for improving the spawning and hibernation possibilities for rare amphibians. In the surrounding area bush and tree encroachment has reduced the value of the habitat. Therefore this area will be cleared.

WAZA Conservation Project 08025 is supported by the Naturschutz -Tierpark Görlitz, Freundeskreis Tierpark Görlitz e.V., and Förderverein für die Natur der Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft e.V.

 

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