Amphibian Conservation_4

To rehabilitate and manage a pond area to provide breeding sites 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.

 

Ahlmuehle, a pond area owned by the city of Landau, is a designated reserve for amphibians and other wild fauna and flora managed by NABU since 1984. In the last years it became increasingly covered by excessive rank growth and therefore was no longer a suitable breeding biotope for amphibians.

In order to remedy this situation, measures, in particular cutting of trees and reduction of undergrowth, were decided and have been implemented since winter 2007/2008. Species benefitting from the management are the common toad (Bufo bufo), pond frog (Rana lessonae) and common frog (Rana temporaria).

Landau Zoo now uses the area for environmental education purposes, and the German Society for Herpetology and Terraristic (DGHT) has taken on the monitoring of the amphibian populations and participates in the management of the reserve.

WAZA Conservation Project 08014 is implemented by the Landau
Zoo in collaboration with DGHT, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) and the Department of Land Care and Environmental Planning, City of Landau.

 

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