First fire-bellied toads released


Within the context of the NABU project LIFE floodplain amphibians the first 889 reared fire-bellied toads could be released in the project area Lower Saxony River Elbe Valley. The release happened in the area Grosser/ Kleiner See in the parish of Am Neuhaus, Luneburg district. 10 breeding ponds were created here last year for the fire-bellied toad and three existing ponds were restored.

At least twenty further ponds are to follow. In addition, an extensive grazing programme for the water bodies and the surrounding area is being established, the water level of the grasslands is being raised. This will create a large-scale and highly suitable habitat for fire-bellied toads in the coming years. The project team anticipates that one of the strongest populations of the fire-bellied toad in Lower Saxony will establish at this site.


As there are hardly any fire-bellied toads present in the area Grosser/ Kleiner See, it was necessary to enhance the existing population with bred animals. The breeding of the fire-bellied toads was undertaken by Amphi International at the breeding station at Neu Darchau. There are plans to release toads bred in this way for a further two years.

After that the population should be sufficiently strengthened to be self-sustaining and able to grow. The administration for the Biosphere Reserve Lower Saxony River Elbe Valley are also involved in this project as a partner. Within the project, further releases are planned along the river Elbe as well as in the catchment of the river Aller. The aim is to restore the original distribution area of the fire-bellied toad in Lower Saxony.


Photo: One of the agricultural tenants of the land  releases fire-bellied toads, Florian Bibelriether (Amphi International)