© DB AG / Faruk Hosseini

New habitats for the natterjack toad

The natterjack toad is quite small and, thanks to its strikingly short hind legs, moves more like a mouse than a toad. Instead of jumping, it prefers to run, especially on the sandy floodplains of rivers and streams. Unfortunately, this habitat is threatened and the natterjack toad is therefore classed as a strictly protected species.

When we relocated a rail freight line in Opladen in North Rhine-Westphalia, we created new habitats for the resident toad population. We selected a four-hectare site, added piles of sand and rocks, built ponds for spawning, and installed tree stumps and heaps of stones in which the protected creatures would be able to hide and overwinter. We needed to make sure they would never try to make it back to their original home, so we built special amphibian fences around the site.