Start of measures in the amphibian protection project LIFE BOVAR of NABU Lower Saxony

New spawning grounds are currently being created for the midwife toad in the district of Goslar.

Photo: Bruno Scheel / NABU

Hanover, Rinteln, Goslar. NABU Niedersachsen is currently carrying out species protection measures with heavy equipment in a quarry near Goslar. As part of the LIFE BOVAR amphibian conservation project, spawning waters are being created for the rare midwife toad, funded by the Lower Saxony Bingo Environmental Foundation. In addition, measures have already been carried out in the districts of Holzminden and Hildesheim - further measures are planned in the district of Göttingen.

Two chain excavators are currently working to optimise the habitats of the midwife toad in a quarry in the district of Goslar. "Last year we determined that the waters are currently not suitable for the reproduction of the midwife toad and we are therefore creating new waters," explains Bruno Scheel, site manager of NABU Lower Saxony, the measure. The occurrence of midwife toads is one of the largest in Lower Saxony. It turns out to be a problem that the existing waters are inhabited by fish that use the tadpoles of the midwife toad as prey. As a result, two of the eight larger waters were drained in September as part of an initial emergency measure. The fish were transferred to deeper waters within the area. In order for the measure to have a sustainable effect, the installation of dewatering systems is planned to regulate the water and which act as a barrier for the fish. In addition to the partial remediation of the water bodies, further new small water bodies were created. Currently, trees and shrubs are being removed along the banks, which are increasingly shading the waters. "Open waters that are as sunny as possible are particularly important for the amphibian species that are rare in our country," says Falk Eckhard, a member of the NABU project team. The measures are carried out in cooperation with the Lower Saxony State Forests and the Lower Nature Conservation Authority of the district of Goslar and supported by the Bingo Environmental Foundation, which co-finances the LIFE BOVAR project.

Photo: Bruno Scheel / NABU

Within the LIFE BOVAR project, new spawning grounds for amphibians will be created, but also the equally important terrestrial habitats, where the animals spend most of the year, will be optimised.
Further construction measures by NABU Lower Saxony within the framework of the LIFE BOVAR project were implemented this winter at the Himmelsthür military training area in the district of Hildesheim. In the process, a good 100 new small and very small waters were created for yellow-bellied toads, crested newts and the like. At the same time, the amphibian biotope in Ochtersum was optimised by excavation work in cooperation with the Lower Nature Conservation Authority of the district.

In the district of Holzminden, an overgrown quarry was decovered together with NABU Holzminden. Woods and roots were removed in order to prevent rootstock from shooting and direct overgrowth. Otherwise it would look like before again in few years. The sustainability of the measures is an essential aspect of the LIFE project. "We are very satisfied with the work of the specialist company. The thinning of the vegetation in the quarry is in favour of the species that were previously pushed back," Kim Fasse, NABU project team member, assesses the measures in the quarry near Stadtoldendorf. The construction of a pasture fence in a nature reserve near Bad Sachsa in the district of Göttingen is being planned. The area of the nature reserve is to be grazed, including the planned waters, and the steps and bites of the grazing animals are to keep the banks open. For the grazing a pasture fence will be erected from project funds, a local animal keeper has agreed to let his animals graze there. The extensive grazing is important for the creation of sustainability in the care of the waters, because without it the gypsum fracture would grow over the next decades and all open land species worthy of protection, including plants and insects, would lose their habitat.

Photo: Bruno Scheel / NABU

Project sponsors


The LIFE-Project "Management of the Yellow-bellied Toad and other Amphibian Species of Dynamic Habitats" - short: "LIFE BOVAR" - is a funding project of the European Union (EU) and is funded by the EU Environmental Programme with a focus on nature and biodiversity. Furthermore, the State of Lower Saxony supports the Lower Saxony Bingo Environmental Foundation with funds from the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection (MU), the State of North Rhine-Westphalia with funds from the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MULNV), The Lower Saxony State Forests, the Minden-Lübbecke district, the Goslar, Hameln-Pyrmont, Hildesheim, Holzminden, Schaumburg districts, the Hanover region, the cities of Hanover and Hildesheim, the NABU North Rhine-Westphalia State Association, the NABU Minden-Lübbecke district association and the Saint-Gobain Formula GmbH company, the project.