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Bielefeld, Germany

Schneeweiss N.,Landesamt fur Umwelt | Hintzmann J.,Ministerium fur Klimaschutz | Lippert J.,Seeburger | Stein M.,Kastanienweg 1 | Thiesmeier B.,Diemelweg 7
Zeitschrift fur Feldherpetologie | Year: 2014

At the least since the mid-19th century numerous free-living amphibians and reptiles get collected for hobby activity or commercial interests. The extinction of one green lizard population or the decline of European tree frogs in the surrounding of Berlin has been pulled together with the capture of animals since turn of the century before last. According to the federal law on nature protection and the species conservation act the capture of native amphibians and reptiles and their husbandry is forbidden since nearly 30 years. Despite of these clear legal norms interferences on free-living amphibian and reptiles populations are repeating until today. The motives are various and range from a collection purpose and a self-constituted breeding project to the point of unethical animal marketing. Even recently the illegal removal of individuals threatened one of the last green lizard population in Germany. Investigations in the internet, anonymous information and later on criminalistic investigations uncovered a network of national and international organized criminals. Three responsible persons have been convicted to partly perennial suspended jail sentences. The increasing threat for native amphibian and reptile populations demands more social efforts against the illegal capture and trade of wild animals. The public authorities for species conservation execution of the federal states have an important role. We claim for a complete ban in trading native amphibian and reptiles species. Organizations like the DGHT have to argue with the animal trade more critically and should put more efforts in the conservation of native amphibian and reptile populations in the future. © Laurenti-Verlag Bielefeld. Source


Since 1973 in the northern Sauerland (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) adult fire salamanders are occasionally observed at a specific area 3-13 times per year. During this time 415 distinct specimens were photographed. 303 (73,0 %) animals were recorded in only one year, 112 animals (27,0 %) at least in another year. Six animals were recorded over 7-12 years, corresponding a maximum age of 15-16 years. © Laurenti-Verlag, Bielefeld. Source


Schulte U.,University of Trier | Bidinger K.,University of Trier | Hochkirch A.,University of Trier | Thiesmeier B.,Diemelweg 7 | Veith M.,University of Trier
Zeitschrift fur Feldherpetologie | Year: 2011

Three years ago, a first attempt was undertaken to present an overview on introduced wall lizard populations in Germany. This present compilation is an update of the list with new results. Besides data on the distribution and habitat of 82 populations, we provide information on presumed or known sources, ages, as well as on the estimated population sizes. The results of a genetic analysis of the geographic origin of the German populations have already been published and are summarised here with some additional new results. Furthermore, information on hybridisation with native wall lizards as well as information on the sympatry with sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) is presented. An approach for the phenotypic assignment of populations to evolutionary lineages is given and the problem, how to deal with invasive populations is discussed in the light of the current conservation legislation. © Laurenti-Verlag, Bielefeld,. Source


In the city of Bochum in the years 2010/2011 the distribution of midwife toads was mapped and compared with the distribution in 1983/1984. Additionally 157 tissue samples were analyzed on the presence of chytrid fungi. The comparison of the two periods indicates a relevant decrease of the species. Two thirds of previously 16 locations are today no longer populated and only two of four main areas are left. All subpopulations, formerly close to city centre, have disappeared and only at three locations the number of animals are far larger than estimated thirty years ago; in contrast at six locations there is assumed to be a decline. With a prevalence of 41% the number of animals infected with the chytrid fungus is relatively high, but only at two locations with the highest number of midwife toads the pathogen was found. Deteriorating spawning sites and the increase of scrub encroachment of the land habitat, connected with leisure pressure, are responsible for the decline. There is no evidence for a causative link between population declines and B. dencirobatidis infection. © Laurenti-Verlag, Bielefeld,. Source


We present phenological and morphological data of a slow worm population from Hattingen (North Rhine-Westphalia). We used artificial cover boards to capture a total of 365 individuals (including recaptures) at 16 occasions between March and September 2008-2011. Ninety-four animals (25.8%) were males, 174 (46.7%) were females and 97 (26.6%) were juveniles/subadults. The sex ratio was 1:1.85. More males were found in April, more females from Mai to July. In the following months, hatchlings dominated. The largest individuals were males with a total length of 39.6 cm and a snout-vent length (SVL) of 19.7 cm. The heaviest individual was a female with a body mass of 30.1 g. The tail of adult slow worms, which have not been previously subjected to caudal autotomy was always longer than the SVL. The average ratio of tail length/SVL was 119.7% for males, 117.4% for females and 107.8% for juveniles, respectively. The tails of hatchlings and individuals up to 13 cm SVL were mostly shorter than the SVL. No relationship was found between the total length and the ratio of tail length/SVL of males and females. There was a significant linear relationship between SVL and body mass with less explained variance for adults. Our results suggest that females of the studied population reproduce when they reach a SVL of 12 cm and a total length of 27 cm, and that such females reproduce every year. Presence of regenerated, previously broken tails was observed in 53.3% (n = 84) of males, 55.4% (n = 166) of females and 17.2% (n = 93) of juveniles, respectively, and increased with the SVL. The tail loss reached from a few percent to total loss, but no relationship was found between the percentage of tail loss and SVL. Dorsal blue spots were observed in 13.8% of males. © Laurenti-Verlag Bielefeld www.laurenti.de. Source

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