In Spring and Fall 2015 two groups of bio-science and chemistry students from the Loyola Marymount University collaborated with the Biostation-Bonn Rhein/Erft and the AIB to sustainably secure the habitat of the greed toad and the natterjack toad by building waters by restoring breeding ponds and ensuring the species safety.
The Biostation-Bonn/Rhein/Erft is in charge for the nature reserve for the Bonn/Rhein/Erft regions. The structure and work of this association is considered unique due to the linkage of official conservation to volunteer nature protection, hence including civil society. Past successes paved the way to pursue future endouvers with students in the AIB.
The collaboration took place in the project „Gravel pit“ in the suburbs of Bonn. Recultivation and extensive human land use have caused the loss of natural habitats for many animals. Previous ponds, gravel pits and other water areas have become increasingly rare to find. This is why the green toad and the natterjack toad were taken on to the Red List and have started being protected all over Europe.
Lack of protection for these species in appropriate waters in the area between Bonn and Hangelar have lead to a drop in occurences. Biologists and Practicioners worked together with the students to enhance the number of occurrences and sustainably secure and maintain the animal’s natural habitat. The goal of the project was to construct artificial ponds that serve as a mating habitat for the declining native toad population. Measures taken included constructing, improving and maintaining waters, mowing meadowy surfaces, pruning and restructuring wooden nurseries in slope areas, as well as removing groves. Fully integrated in the project the students made hand-on experiences to what it is like working in the field of nature conservation and protection.
To further improve and maintain this project in a sustainable manner , the Biological Station Bonn/Rhein-Erft is currently planning a common maintenance action in 2016 in collaboration with the AIB.
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