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Module Amphibian Breeding Sites

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Amphibians are among the most threatened animal groups in Switzerland. Linking breeding sites through the creation of new suitable water bodies at the landscape scale, in addition to preserving existing breeding sites, are essential elements of amphibian conservation.

 

70% of indigenous amphibian species are on the Red List of Endangered Swiss amphibians (Schmidt & Zumbach 2005, only in German). The WBS module amphibian breeding sites is coordinated by info fauna karch (the Swiss Amphibian and Reptile Coordination Centre). Local experts conduct surveys on amphibian populations for the WBS program.

Switzerland designated a total of 929 amphibian breeding sites of national importance. The WBS sub-sample comprises 258 of these sites, including 124 sites which were previously examined for the 2005 Red List update, and 18 sites which have been integrated after the national inventory was updated in 2017. The WBS sub-sample encompasses all amphibian species and biogeographical regions of Switzerland, including some high-elevation sites. The national inventory distinguishes between fixed breeding sites (e.g. ponds) and the so-called mobile breeding sites (mainly gravel pits). The 258 sites of the WBS sample are composed of 218 fixed and 40 mobile sites.

Amphibian populations at low-elevation sites are surveyed four times, and high-elevation sites twice between March and July. The data is stored at info Fauna karch and allows for the analysis of trends of amphibian populations at the national level as well as for each biogeographical region separately. Data access for cantons is provided via the virtual database VDC.