My good friend Johannes Amshoff allowed me to join a night of a skylark ringing project in Münster with his friends from the university and I had to take the chance of making some images! The skylark is a bird of open fields and especially agricultural landscapes are its home! Poorly through industrial agriculture, this species loses more and more of its population in Germany. In the opinion of many ornithologists, this bird species has no bright future as many open land species. To ensure the...

When you take a look at the NSG Lüsekamp you might think that this area is Spadefoot toad (Pelobates fuscus) heaven, but for almost twice decades the species couldn't be really confirmed anymore. Since the toad populations in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalia's declining cause of habitat destruction, every suitable habitat is precious. Eutrophication, succession, and unsuitable reproduction waters are the biggest problems for them and after a lot of work of renaturation, this area seems to be...

Vipera berus fire de meinweg nationalpark adder waldbrand feuer kreuzotter schlange otter  brand bosbrand
In April 2020 several wildfires raged in the Netherlands and Western Germany's forests, moors, and heath meadows. Especially small animals like reptiles, amphibians, insects, and ground-nesting birds can be affected by those fires. One of these fires destroyed big parts of a region that inhabits one of the biggest adders populations in the Netherlands and needed hundreds of firefighters to put it out. How are the fauna and flora doing now? How big is the loss? Well that is something research...

The yearly spring break of the Bufo bufo is not just fun to observe it's a great opportunity to photograph details and funny moments in the annual mating season. This blogpost is more like a yearly gallery, which will get new images from season to season. So maybe we will have soon a blogpost which is competing with the galleries. It's quite hard to get every image you need and want in one season even when you are out every day/night! The perspectives of the big party are countless, the massive...

Bufo bufo Amplexus street crossing light
Crossing the human-made death strips is a yearly massacre for every kind of amphibian. Not just the common ones like Bufo bufo and Rana temporaria, also rare species like Hyla arborea end as a flat pancake on the street. For this reason professionals and volunteers designed instrumentals to save at least a few populations from die-off and fragmentation. The mobile instrument is the amphibian fence. Almost every little local nature conservation organization uses this method with the massive help...

What is Bsal? It is a chytrid fungus from Asia, which came to Europe through animal trade. It causes skin lesions in the European salamanders and newts. In Salamandra salamandra and Triturus cristatus the die-off is extreme and kills whole populations. Where? The distribution in Europe is southern Netherlands, Belgium and the Eifel and Ruhr area in Germany - there are also cases from Spain in T.marmoratus. What can we do? - disinfect your shoes and gear (with Virkon S 10g for 1l water or 70%...

Well, where should I start the story.. . maybe with a short exemplification of neoteny. Neoteny in newts and salamanders is a disorder in the metmorphosis (mostly) in cause of a disfunction of the thyroid. The metamorphosis stops at a certain point and as a result of that, the juveniles/adults keep their gills from the larvae stage (GOULD 1977). Mostly you can find single individuals in ponds, but in a view cases the big part of the population can be neotenic (HARTWIG & ROTTMANN 1940)....

Before my last finals in my masterstudies I had to do the last trip... Lennart and me calculated very long which destination we should pick, since the end of August/beginning of September aren't the best time to search for vipers. The weather forecast forced us to react quite spontaneous and so in midday on Wednesday my phone rang and Lennart just asked me: "Should we start now?" Me: "Let's start now!" So I throw my stuff into my car a drove towards Heidelberg. After a nice dinner with Lennart...

After my very exhausting work season in the field/lab I needed some holidays with some mountains. Cause it was June, it was for sure not the best time for herping, but well up in the mountains, it should still be possible to find some cool critters. My friends Marvin and Sebastian also wanted to have a little trip, so we decided to go for Walser on the long June weekend of Corpus Christi. We arrived at the famous Walserspot where we were welcomed by a nice little sheepdog, what a good boy! We...

The ending of the herping season was close, so Lennard Schmid and I decided to go for a last, short and heavy vipertour. Since Lennart knows Slovenia quite well and I had a few nice spots in Croatia our destinations were fixed very fast. At the 9th of September I started from Cologne with the ICE to Mannheim. After a long, long journey Lennart picked me up at the main station and we went straight herping. First, we went on a walk for amphibians in his surroundings and we had a nice number of...

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