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LIFE FLOODPLAIN AMPHIBIANS (LIFE Auenamphibien)
Date du début: 1 janv. 2016, Date de fin: 31 déc. 2023 PROJET  EN COURS 

Background The ongoing decline of amphibian species is especially severe in Central and Northern Europe, particularly those species listed in Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive. This is due to habitat destruction and degradation, mainly driven by the intensification of land use over recent decades. In some regions, more than 90% of reproduction ponds were destroyed in the last century as a result of drainage and filling up. Dramatic changes in the agricultural landscape have also occurred. Hedgerows, nutrient poor grasslands, extensively grazed pastures and bare soil patches have been eliminated. Objectives The LIFE Auenamphibien project aims to increase the population size of three amphibian species listed in Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive: the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina), tree frog (Hyla arborea) and great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), along with other endangered plant and animal species. The project will target 11 project areas in middle and southern Lower Saxony, creating and restoring 301 spawning ponds. Thereby the coherence of the protected areas as well as the connection between the populations will be improved and the target species will be enabled to recolonise the restored habitats. The project will reintroduce the fire-bellied toad to selected project areas (on the basis of genetic analysis) in order to re-establish populations in the Atlantic biogeographical region. It will also carry out population management to secure genetic material of isolated fire-bellied toad populations. Extensive grazing in the pond surroundings will be cost-effectively and sustainably managed. Finally, areas lacking suitable places for new ponds will be purchased. Expected results: • Pond action plans for all the project areas; • Construction and restoration of 301 ponds in the projects areas, restoration of wet meadows and construction of hibernation sites; • Improved land management in the vicinity of pond complexes by extensive grazing (cattle, horses and sheep); • Strengthened fire-bellied toad populations by artificial rearing; and • Re-established several fire-bellied toad populations in the Atlantic biogeographical region by reintroduction.

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