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.
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.
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.”
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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