Photo: Gudrun Maxam

Aachen, January 23, 2019 - Amphibians are the big losers of our intensive land use, urban sprawl and landscape fragmentation and the poisoning and eutrophication of our waters. For example, 40 percent of amphibian species in Germany are severely endangered. With the LIFE project "BOVAR", actors from two German federal states and the Netherlands are working together for the same cause: the protection of newts, toads and co.


Dr. Manfred Aletsee, Managing Director of the NABU Nature Conservation Station, Klaus Meiners, Head of the Lower Nature Conservation Authority Aachen and Christian Höppner from the project management organisation NABU Lower Saxony welcomed the 20 participants to the premises of the Lower Nature Conservation Authority of the City of Aachen. The eight-year project was presented, subsequently, the current planning status in the project regions Limburg (Netherlands) and Aachen was presented. During an excursion to the Aachen project areas, the participants were able to get a good overview of the work of the NABU Nature Conservation Station Aachen. In the FFH (fauna and flora habitat directive) area Brand and in the nature reserves Indetal and Walheim numerous new waters are created. "There are still remaining populations of the yellow-bellied toad, midwife toad and crested newt that we would like to support with these measures," said Dr. Manfred Aletsee.


The project is supported by the European Union (EU) with funds from the EU Environmental Programme for Nature and Biodiversity. Since the beginning of March 2018, the project community has dedicated itself to the management of the yellow-bellied toad and other endangered amphibian species of dynamic habitats in the internationally active species protection project with the short title "LIFE BOVAR". The aim is to benefit the target species above all in Natura 2000 protected areas.



Project background


Together with its project and cooperation partners in the LIFE BOVAR project, NABU Lower Saxony is dedicated to the management of the yellow-bellied toad and other endangered amphibian species as well as the targeted development of dynamic habitats for species conservation.


The most important objectives of the project are the implementation of practical species protection measures for endangered amphibian species, the restoration and optimisation of favourable habitat conditions and the strengthening of the biotope network through stepping stones and partial reintroduction in order to link isolated populations with each other. The target species Yellow-bellied Toad, Midwife Toad, Common Toad and Crested Newt are expected to benefit. In addition, a contribution is to be made to restoring the original range of the species.


Together with the project partners from the Netherlands (Stichting IKL), the Hildesheim School Biology Centre, the Soest Working Group on Biological Environmental Protection, the NABU Nature Conservation Station Aachen, the federal states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, project actions and species protection measures will be carried out over a period of eight years to contribute to biological diversity. As is usual for LIFE projects, instruments will be developed for the long-term protection and maintenance of habitats. In order to raise awareness of biological diversity, information and public education activities will also be carried out.


The EU Commission, the project partners, the co-financiers and the supporters made the project possible with a total volume of more than 4.6 million euros.



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.