D1.1 MONITORING OF AMPHIBIAN HABITATS
At the end of the project, the success of all newly created and restored water habitats in combination with restored terrestrial habitats will be evaluated based on amphibian population conservation status improvement in project sites. Evaluation methods across countries will be harmonized, methods, monitoring objectives and indicators will be outlined for every project site already in site specific action plans at the begining of the project. Therefore, specific indicators to be monitored will be identical to the indicators surveyed. The main indicators are:
- the population size of the target species (as a result of annually monitoring),
- surface and quality of terrestrial habitats in all project sites (will be monitored two times during the project).
The final list of indicators will be the result of inventory and site specific plans for project sites in the first two project years (A.1). Of special importance will be monitoring of reproduction success and the population dynamic of the targeted species, that will be investigated every season between the years 2022 and 2026. Of highest priority will be to identify at what conditions the reproduction success (development from eggs to metamorphs) or failure take place. This will allow developing suitable counter actions and finetune the project´s conservation actions.
D1.2 MONITORING OF AMPHIBIAN TUNNELS AND FENCES
To investigate to what extent amphibians use the tunnels and the efficiency of the fences, the entrances of the tunnels will be observed and checked whether amphibians are leaving the tunnels together with the amphibian movements along the fences. This assessment will be made for:
- adults migrating towards the breeding site,
- adults returning from the breeding site and
- for recently metamorphosed juveniles emigrating from the pond towards the terrestrial habitat.
The survey will be more intense during spring, but summer when dispersal of metamorphs occurs and autumn when migration to hibernating sites takes place will also be included. The autumn survey is especially important for Italian crested newt in the Slovenian project area since the highest road activities for great crested newts were reported for this season.
Technical adequacy and maintenance of tunnels and fences will be monitored once per year. It is important to regularly check if fences and tunnels are damaged due to weather effects, vandalism, road traffic load and that maintenance such as clearing of vegetation, rubbish, soil, stones and other material is in place before amphibian migration season starts.
D1.3 MONITORING OF POPULATION REINFORCEMENT
The efficiency of all foreseen conservation actions for reaching the project goals has to be evaluated. This will allow a fine-tuning of the measures where necessary or a redesign of the project´s strategy in order to achieve the maximum effect induced by the means employed.