Will the fire-bellied toad return?

Extensive conservation measures for rare amphibian species in the Dromling bog

Various conservation actions are currently being delivered at two locations in the Dromling bog within the district of Gifhorn and the City of Wolfsburg by NABU Lower Saxony. The measures aim to improve the conditions for amphibians, in particular the fire-bellied toad.

One site is located on the border with Saxony-Anhalt near the village of Kaiserwinkel. 6 new breeding ponds are currently being created here. ”There are individual records of fire-bellied toads from this area until very recently”, says NABU project manager Dr Markus Richter, “Our targeted search in the last 2 years however has not been successful”.

Currently there are hardly any breeding ponds left, the new ponds are to attract any possibly remaining animals to breed here. In case that no toads can be recorded, then the reintroduction of this species is planned after liaison with all relevant partners and following the permit from the nature protection agency.


The earth works had already been tendered and commissioned last year, but due to heavy rain falls they had to be postponed into this year. “At the moment the conditions are very favourable, the sites are dry and easily accessible”, explains the NABU construction manager Joachim Neumann, “We assume that everything can be completed, before the wet weather returns.”


A second area for conservation measures is located at the other end of the Dromling bog within the city of Wolfsburg near lake Aller. At this site several new ponds were created a few years ago. At the shore of the ponds however, there are dense woodlands and shrubs. These cast a shadow on the water body and therefore make the ponds unsuitable for the breeding of demanding amphibian species. ”Tree frog larvae only develop in water temperatures above 15OC. The water body ideally has to be exposed to the full solar radiation, so that the water can sufficiently warm up during spring”, explains Dr Richter. “A specialist company will therefore completely cut back the woody growth over the next days. ”However, willows, alders and birches will largely grow back from their stumps. To prevent the regrowth of trees, the site including the pond shores will be grazed in the future, grazing and trampling of the animals are intended to keep the shore open. To allow grazing, a fence will be erected from project funds. A local farmer has volunteered to have his animals graze the site. Using the site for the traditional Easter campfire will continue to be possible in the future.