Study

Within three years, amphibian species richness was higher in restored and constructed ponds than in unmanaged ponds in Estonia

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control fish by drying out ponds

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Restore ponds

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Create ponds for amphibians

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Remove or control fish by drying out ponds

    A replicated, before-and-after site comparison study of 450 existing ponds, 22 of which were restored, and 208 created ponds in six protected areas in Estonia (Rannap, Lõhmus & Briggs 2009) found that within three years amphibian species richness was higher in both restored ponds, some of which had been drained to eliminate fish, and created ponds than unmanaged ponds (3 vs 2 species/pond). The proportion of ponds occupied also increased for targeted common spadefoot toad Pelobates fuscus (2 to 15%) and great crested newt Triturus cristatus (24 to 71%), as well as the other five species present (15–58% to 41–82%). Breeding occurred at increasing numbers of pond clusters from one to three years after restoration/creation for crested newt (39% to 92%) and spadefoot toad (30% to 81%). Prior to management, only 22% of ponds were considered high quality for breeding. In 2005, 405 existing ponds were sampled by dip-netting. In autumn 2005–2007, ponds were restored and created for great crested newts and spadefoot toads in 27 clusters. Restoration included clearing vegetation, extracting mud, levelled banks and for fish elimination pond drying and ditch blocking. Post-restoration monitoring in 2006–2008 comprised an annual visual count and dip-netting survey.

     

  2. Restore ponds

    A replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study of 450 existing ponds, 22 of which were restored, and 208 created ponds in six protected areas in Estonia (Rannap, Lõhmus & Briggs 2009) found that within three years amphibian species richness was higher in restored and created ponds than unmanaged ponds (3 vs 2 species/pond). The proportion of ponds occupied also increased for common spadefoot toad Pelobates fuscus (2 to 15%), great crested newt Triturus cristatus (24 to 71%) and the other five amphibian species (15–58% to 41–82%). Breeding occurred at increasing numbers of pond clusters from one to three years after restoration and creation for great crested newt (39% to 92%) and spadefoot toad (30% to 81%). Prior to restoration and creation, only 22% of ponds were considered high quality for breeding. In 2005, 405 existing ponds were sampled by dip-netting. In autumn 2005–2007, 22 ponds were restored and 208 created for great crested newts and spadefoot toads in 27 clusters. Restoration included clearing vegetation, extracting mud, levelled banks, pond drying and ditch blocking (for fish elimination). Monitoring was undertaken by visual and dip-netting surveys during one visit in 2006–2008.

     

  3. Create ponds for amphibians

    A replicated before-and-after, site comparison study of 450 existing ponds, 208 of which were created and 22 restored in six protected areas in Estonia (Rannap, Lõhmus & Briggs 2009) found that amphibian species richness was higher in created and restored ponds than unmanaged ponds within three years (3 vs 2 species/pond). There was an increase in proportion of ponds occupied by the declining common spadefoot toad Pelobates fuscus (2 to 15%) and great crested newt Triturus cristatus (24 to 71%) and by the other five species present (15–58% to 41–82%). Breeding also occured in an increasing number of pond clusters each year for great crested newts (39% to 92%) and spadefoot toads (30% to 81%). In autumn 2005–2007, ponds were created and restored in 27 clusters. Six clusters (46 ponds) were designed for great crested newts, two (31 ponds) for spadefoot toads and 19 (153 ponds) for both. Depths, sizes, slopes and shapes varied. Restoration included clearing vegetation, extracting mud, levelling banks, pond drying and ditch blocking (to eliminate fish). Before management, 405 ponds were surveyed. After restoration in 2006–2008, each pond was visited for 10 minutes of visual counts and dip-netting.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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