Austria To Create More Than 300 New Water Ponds Around The Country To Help Conserve Green Toads

The world’s oldest zoo will take part in the building of several hundred water ponds across Austria to help conserve green toads under threat because of habitat loss.

The project named ‘AmphiBiom’ led by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) will reportedly create about 300 new water ponds across Austria.

Aimed to help green toads battle habitat destruction, the so-called ‘mini pools’ will reportedly measure one square metre in size, and be located mostly in private gardens.

Schoenbrunn Zoo/Newsflash

They will reportedly be regularly monitored over a period of two years to trace the toads’ colonisation progress.

Schoenbrunn Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Due to the loss of their natural habitat, more and more animals are dependent on refuges in populated areas.

“The zoo acts as a biotope for many native species – including amphibians, which require fish-free spawning waters, especially to reproduce.”

Hering-Hagenbeck emphasised that people interested in the research can apply for a ‘pond package’ and receive tools and construction instructions to build the system in their own gardens.

Image shows a green toad in the city of Vienna, Austria, undated photo. State authorities will create around 300 new small bodies of water across the country for the green toads. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

Participants will be requested to give updates on the pond and its inhabitants every two weeks using the project’s app ‘AmphoApp’ starting in spring 2024.

Project manager and herpetologist Lukas Landler said: “Initiatives that involve interested people are becoming increasingly important in order to record the use of space by different species and to be able to protect them in the long term.

“Only together can we preserve nature.”

The green toad, Bufotes viridis, recognisable by its specific green spots and unique trilling call, is considered endangered in Austria.

The species’ main distribution area in Austria is in the east, however, it can nowadays barely be found in its original habitats such as steppe areas and wild river floodplains.

Schoenbrunn Zoo representatives said: “Amphibians keep insect populations in check in their habitats and thus also take on the role of biological pest control.”

Image shows the building of the pond at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in Vienna, Austria, undated photo. State authorities will build more than 300 bodies of water across the country for green toads. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)
Image shows project manager Lukas Landler, project coordinator Janette Siebert, and the Schoenbrunn Zoo’s gardening team, building a pond in Vienna, Austria, undated photo. State authorities will build more than 300 bodies of water across the country for green toads. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

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