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  • Behavioural Ecology

    Zebra finch research at Bielefeld University
    © Sarah Golüke

Individual identification of Fire salamanders and Yellow-bellied toads with the Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook

amphibian and reptile wildbook logo
© Pia Oswald

Amphibians are threatened by several factors, such as habitat fragmentation, pollution or the introduction of pathogens, such as BSal. Monitoring both the population size and geographic range can help to establish effective conservation plans. Our vision is to use innovative technology that leverages crowdsourced images to enable continuous and automated monitoring of the European fire salamander and other amphibians and reptiles. Many amphibians, such as the fire salamander or the yellow-bellied toad, carry individual specific color patterns on their skin, which can be used to identify individuals. This enables us to use a photographic recapture analysis to estimate population sizes and movement distances in a completely non-invasive way.

Fire salamander recapture
© Max Mühlenhaupt

These are two pictures that were taken of the same animal on two different nights in the botanical garden in Bielefeld. The Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook recognised the individual pattern on the back and identified the pictures as the same individual. A coin can be used as a size reference.


User guide - How to use the software

Here you find a short user guide on how to use the Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook software (in English and in German). You also find an excel sheet template in German that you can use for bulk-imports. The English version of the template can be found on the ARW website.


Step by step video how to use the software as citizen science tool

The Video is also available in German.

Step by step video how to use the software for conservation & reserach

The Video is also available in German.

© Pia Oswald

Here you find the Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook.

Contact person
Barbara Caspers

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