The excursion in Germany started with the gathering of all project partners at the 3rd LIFE AMPHICON Steering Committee.

The following days were dedicated to the exchange of experiences and knowledge.

From 28th to 29th of October 2021, an international conference on amphibian protection measures “Renaturation of Lakes and Kettle Holes, Ponds and Pools and Other Amphibian Conservation Measures” was held in Criewen in the National Park of the Lower Odra Valley. The LIFE AMPHICON project partners participated in the conference with the presentation of current and planned project topics.

During our stay, we had the opportunity to learn about examples of good and bad practice for amphibian protection, as measures for amphibian conservation have existed in Germany for many years.

In the Felchowsee Lake area, managed by the project partner 

Association of Friends of the German-Polish Lower Oder Valley European National Park (VUO) (VUO), Hermann Wiesing presented some puddles of larger dimensions, as well as the challenges they face in building and maintaining such puddles.

With a representative of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment, Health and Consumer Protection (LfU), Dr. Norbert Schneeweiß, we took a closer look at some examples of good and bad practices of underpasses and protective fences for amphibians.

Dr. Franz Höchtl, Head of the Department for Information, Education, Sustainable Land Use, Research and Documentation at the Lower Saxony Elbe Biosphere Reserve, introduced us to the tasks of the Biosphere Reserve. Rebecca Heiligtag, on the other hand, presented the challenges they face in the LIFE Auenamphibien project, which focuses on the conservation of amphibians and their habitats in the floodplain area of Elbe river.

Representatives of two nearby biosphere reserves, Schaalsee and Riverine Landscape of Elbe Brandenburg River, joined us on a field trip to the puddles to present their amphibian protection plans. We discussed possible measures for the protection of amphibians and the potential projects within biosphere reserves and nature parks.

We also took a look at an example of a puddle, where grazing is carried out instead of mowing in the immediate vicinity of the puddle to prevent vegetation overgrowing the puddle. Such a model might also be introduced in Slovenia.

Just before the end of the excursion, we had the opportunity to meet one of the important species of the LIFE AMPHICON project in Germany and Denmark, the northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus), It once again reminded us of the importance of conserving amphibians and to protect their habitats.

Photo: Tina Stepišnik