LIFE-Amphibienverbund - Improvement of habitats and population connectivity for endangered amphibians in the cityregion of Aachen

LIFE15 NAT/DE/000743

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Contact details:

Contact person: Josef Wegge
Tel: 4924021261712
Fax: 4924021261729
Email: josef.wegge@bs-aachen.de

Project description:


The amphibian species, the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, along with the Annex IV-listed midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) and natterjack toad (Bufo calamita), are all endangered in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and in Germany as a whole. The former two species have a bad conservation status in the Continental region, as well as in the Atlantic region, while the natterjack toad has an insufficient conservation status in both regions. Their conservation status is also unfavourable in Germany and at EU level. Furthermore, the yellow-bellied toad is threatened with extinction in NRW.

The loss of suitable habitats - which in the project region is due to the decline in the use of spoil tips (coal), military training areas and excavations with subsequent succession or re-cultivation without regard to the needs of species - causes a rapid decline of all three target species.


The objective of the LIFE-Amphibienverbund project is to improve the conservation status of the three target amphibian species (the yellow-bellied, midwife and natterjack toad) in the district of Aachen. For the yellow-bellied toad the measures are concentrated in seven Natura 2000 sites around Stolberg, with cross-linking axes between them. The natterjack and midwife toads will be strengthened where they occur naturally in areas outside the Natura 2000 network.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Improve the quality of the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, while reducing impairments and increasing the population size of the currently occurring target amphibian species;
  • Stabilise cross-linkage of occurrences by the project activities and improve coherence of the Natura 2000 network in the Stolberg region and Wurm valley;
  • Reduce long-term maintenance demands for the preservation of the amphibian habitats;
  • Reintroduce two yellow-bellied toad populations with the ability to reproduce in two Natura 2000 areas;
  • Disseminate the findings obtained and motivate other stakeholders to take action for the target species (replication and transfer of knowledge); and
  • Carry out environmental education and public awareness raising.
  • Expected results:

  • Three regional amphibian action plans for the yellow-bellied midwife and natterjack toad species, as well as local action plans for all 31 project areas (nine areas, 13 conservation areas and nine stepping stone corridors);
  • A genetic recommendation for resettlement of the target species;
  • Amphibian habitats in Natura 2000 areas secured by compensation (8 ha) and purchase (2 ha);
  • Amphibian ponds (683) created or optimised, 13.3 ha of terrestrial habitats improved, 28 hiding places created and 5.4 ha of agricultural areas cultivated in an amphibian-friendly way. Thus, about 20 distribution areas (nine of natterjack toads, five of midwife toads and five of yellow-bellied toads) optimised and at least 14 new amphibian habitats will be accessible to settlement of the target species;
  • Two breeder groups for yellow-bellied toads established;
  • Two yellow-bellied toad occurrences with the ability to reproduce re-established;
  • Detailed plans for 80 areas of specific measures; and
  • Eighty contracts of use to ensure long-term safeguarding of the measures.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Amphibians


restoration measure‚  biotope network‚  freshwater ecosystem‚  site rehabilitation

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Alytes obstetricans   Bombina variegata   Bufo calamita 

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Biologische Station StdteRegion Aachen e.V.
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Founded in 1998, the Biologische Station StädteRegion Aachen is a nature conservation association, whose members include regional farmer and forester associations. The association is in charge of the district’s sites of Community importance (SCIs) and nature reserves.
Partners Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft - Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


Project reference LIFE15 NAT/DE/000743
Duration 01-JAN-2017 to 31-DEC -2025
Total budget 4,220,892.00 €
EU contribution 2,532,535.00 €
Project location Nordrhein-Westfalen(Deutschland)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version