|Universität Bielefeld > Faculty of Biology > Department of Animal Behaviour > Sebastian Steinfartz > International meeting facing FHH-related problems 2008|
The excursion will lead to the nature reserve area “Fürstenkuhle” (Münsterland region, North Rhine-Westphalia, North West Germany) where a model project for the conservation of the moor frog (Rana arvalis) was conducted in the years 1983-2001. The moor frog is an endangered amphibian species and therefore listed in the FFH-appendix IV in North Rhine-Westphalia and served as a “flagship species” for the protection of an old remainder of a peat bog and for the optimization of the surrounding fields, pastures and meadows. The surrounding areas were added to the nature reserve area by a considerable enlargement of the protected area, which formerly consisted only of the peat bog itself. In order to create a buffer zone around the bog against the use of fertilisers new areas were developed to extensively used pastures and meadows. Furthermore, maize fields were converted into fallow fields and then changed into pastures. Two new ponds were created in addition to three existing ponds, and four further water bodies were developed in order to damming the main drainage ditch crossing the old nature reserve area. These measures resulted into a strong increase of the population size of moor frogs from about 1200 to 2500-3000 adults and are shown in the field.
In the visited nature reserve area the following further amphibian species are expected to be found: Triturus vulgaris, T. alpestris, T. cristatus, Pelobates fuscus, Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria, Rana esculenta/lessonae. Furthermore the following reptile species can be found: Vipera berus, Anguis fragilis (great population) and Zootoca vivipara, and also a lot of rare species of plants of peat bogs.
The excursion will lead to the Meerbruchwiesen located near the Steinhuder Meer which is a large freshwater sea in the south of Lower Saxony. After intensive conservation and recreation measures the Meerbruchwiesen are now again the home of a rich wetland flora and fauna. Planned and financed as a major national conservation/recreation project during the 1990s also several measures for the preservation of amphibian species were conducted. This resulted in the recovery of large populations of crested newts (Triturus cristatus), the spade food (Pelobates fuscus), natterjacks (Bufo calamita) and the moorfrog (Rana arvalis). Also the re-introduction of the European green frog (Hyla arborea) in the year 2005 was successful in this area. At the western side of the Steinhuder Meer a natural far-reaching desiccation area is found. From an observation tower located in that area an impressive view through the whole Steinhuder Meer is possible. The excursion will follow a fixed trail.