A small population of tree frogs lives along the river Schunter, a small river within the City of Brunswig. Several new ponds had been created along the river as part of a large-scale restoration project.
However, the tree frog has only populated a small number of these ponds. Measures as part of the LIFE Floodplain Amphibians project are now going to help the tree frogs. Several ponds -nearly completely overgrown by trees and shrubs - have been cleared. This will let more sunshine through to the water surface.
Tree frog tadpoles only develop successfully in warm water. The bottom level of several ponds was raised. These ponds had so far been filled with water permanently. During flooding events fish entered the ponds and prevented the reproduction of the tree frog. The redesigned ponds should now regularly dry out in the summer.
This will prevent the permanent presence of fish and other predators feeding on tree frog spawn and tadpoles. Several shallow ponds, which previously dried out too early, were deepened. Finally, two new ponds were created. In total there are now 14 ponds with suitable conditions for tree frog reproduction. The measures were conducted in close collaboration and active support from the local nature conservation group FUN in the Brunswig suburb of Hondelage.
FUN established grazing by cattle and water buffalos on meadows along the river Schunter. These will now manage the ponds and ensure that they will not overgrow again.
Photos: Excavator working on the Schunter, Dr Markus Richter
Tree Frog: Frank Körner