LIFE BOMBINA – Consolidation of Bombina bombina in Denmark

LIFE99 NAT/DK/006454

Partners: DK (Amphi Consult, Ravn Consult, Vetsjællands, Storstrøms og Fyn amt, Rosenfeldt Gods.

Project duration: 1999-2003

The overall objective of the project was to enlarge the minute Danish population of fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina) on 7 of the 8 sites it was found on, and to secure the important genetic traits before inbreeding occurred and lowered the viability of the species. Large reserve populations were consequently to be created and located in large-scale favourable terrestrial habitats. The focus was on a total of 13 sites: 7 existing sites and 6 planned new sites for the reserve populations, distributed over Fyn, Vestsjælland and Storstrøm counties in SE Denmark. The reference was an effective population (Ne) of 500 individuals, or approximately 1,000 adult individuals.

One of the objectives was also to eradicate locally Carrasius auratus on selected sites in order to re-create breeding sites for the Annex II amphibian Bombina bombina.

The threats were to be counteracted in 3 ways:

1. Terrestrial and aquatic habitat improvement on original sites (creation or restoration of 47 ponds and land acquisition for 12 buffer-zones).

2. Improvement of the habitats for the planned reserve populations (creation or restoration of 59 ponds and land acquisition for 3 buffer-zones).

3. Rearing and release of offspring at the new sites (egg collecting, rearing and release of around 21,500 tadpoles)

The expected results included: · The populations would be safer from future catastrophes, the total population size would increase, the genetic heterogeneity of the population would be kept more intact, and the public would get improved opportunities to encounter the animal. · Further, the creation/ restoration of ponds should have general positive effects on flora and fauna. · Agri-environmental measures were to be used whenever possible, in order to increase landowner willingness to be involved in nature protection. · The demonstration value of this project was expected to go beyond the consolidation of Bombina; it was to be seen as an example of good management practice concerning pond restoration and nature conservation in general. Furthermore, it would enable ordinary people to become familiar with a rare species, and would thus raise environmental consciousness. At the same time it would popularise the work of the EU LIFE-Programme, the three involved counties, and the National Forest and Nature Agency. It was in fact one of the first projects in Denmark to involve three counties at the same time.


European Commission under the LIFE Financial Instrument


Total budget: 818,234.90 €

EU Contribution: 398,415.18 €