21 May Breeding station for fire-bellied toad in project area Tårup Strand in Denmark is ready for the new season
Warm and sunny spring days will stimulate fire-bellied toads to move from wintering grounds to breeding sites. In ponds and flooded depressions in the floodplain meadows in lowland floodplains, we will soon be able to hear males calling to attract females to the spawning grounds. During mating, fire-bellied toads attach the eggs to aquatic plants. In the project area, Tårup Strand in Denmark eggs will be transferred to a breeding station also this year. Supportive breeding is an important measure for the conservation of small and endangered fire-bellied toad populations. Rearing in controlled conditions will significantly increase the survival of eggs and juveniles (over 90%) by preventing loss of amphibian offspring due to predators and other factors.
In Denmark, we set up a breeding station before the start of the mating season of fire-bellied toads. We have placed containers and pools of different sizes in greenhouses where we provide developing eggs and tadpoles with conditions similar to those in their natural environment. Before the start of the metamorphosis, the tadpoles will be transferred to net cages where they will be able to finally transform into juveniles.
Photo: Niels Damm
It is important to prepare containers early enough and fill them with water, sediment and plants from local ponds. We must be careful not to transfer any predators such as dragonfly larvae, beetles or other invertebrates into the pools. We also installed net cages in the central ponds in the Tårup Strand project area a few days ago. Early preparation of containers and net cages is important so that an epiphytic layer of algae, bacteria and protozoa can be established on the net itself, which will serve as an important food source for developing fire-bellied toad tadpoles.