New spawning grounds for endangered amphibians in the Salzhemmendorf quarry

NABU project LIFE BOVAR and Lhoist Germany Rheinkalk GmbH implement species conservation in Salzhemmendorf

Rinteln, Hanover, Salzhemmendorf - The amphibian conservation project LIFE BOVAR of NABU Lower Saxony has started into its second season of measures. The first large-scale measure took place in Salzhemmendorf. In cooperation with Lhoist Germany Rheinkalk GmbH, numerous spawning waters for amphibians were optimised and newly created at the end of November. The midwife toad and the natterjack toad, which is also increasingly endangered, should benefit in particular from these measures.


Within a week at the end of November, existing small watercourses in two quarries near Salzhemendorf which were filled with sludge were dredged, earth walls were constructed to dam up water and three concrete basins were also installed in the entire quarry area. "We are very pleased that Rheinkalk GmbH has placed its trust in us and that we have been able to take all the necessary measures to contribute to the preservation and promotion of biodiversity," says project team member Bruno Scheel. The concrete basins still offer good breeding opportunities for the midwife toad & Co. The measure was supported by the Hofspiegelberg agricultural enterprise by filling the concrete basins with water.

Installation of concrete basins / NABU Kim Fasse

Filling the concrete basins with water / NABU Bruno Scheel

The midwife toad can be found in various places in the extensive quarry area. Due to the drought of recent years, the species now lacks deep permanent waters in the quarry, on which especially the tadpoles depend which can also hibernate in the water. The natterjack toad, as the second important target species of the measure, has one of its few occurrences in the limestone quarry in the mountain and hill country of Lower Saxony. In contrast to the midwife toad, it specialises in living in regularly draining temporary water bodies that are formed after rainfall. Due to the drought, its tadpoles also had little opportunity to develop in the quarry during the last two years. For this reason, the several-day measures in the quarry were unavoidable for both species in order to preserve the populations of the endangered species.


"We welcome the implementation of the measures to promote the endangered amphibian species here in the quarry", says David Gaczek, plant manager of Lhoist Germany Rheinkalk GmbH.


The occurrence of these two amphibian species in the limestone quarry of Lhoist Germany Rheinkalk GmbH has been known for a long time. Just like the increasing decline of species in general. In particular, the dynamics due to mining activities promote the creation of new habitats for the species. For the protection of the midwife toad and the natterjack toad it was therefore agreed already in 2016, in the application phase for the LIFE-Project BOVAR, that the quarry will be integrated into the project area.


"For the future, we wish to continue our good cooperation. As a next step, a cooperation agreement between NABU Lower Saxony and Lhoist Germany Rheinkalk GmbH will be concluded in order to ensure the continuous species monitoring and the implementation of measures", explains project manager Christian Höppner.


The costs of the measure are fully covered by the LIFE BOVAR project of NABU Lower Saxony.