Yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata)

Yellow-bellied toad

Yellow-bellied toad

Description of the species

The yellow-bellied toad is the only known Bombina species in Luxembourg. The relatively small anuran has a rather unremarkable brownly coloured upper body side, while the bottom part has an eye-catching black-yellow, individually differing warning colour. Another conspicuous feature is the heart-shaped pupil. Yellow-bellied toads prefer sun-exposed, temporary waters and small ponds. These habitats evolve in flood depressions along streams; however the species also adapts to bigger puddles on unfixed paths or to stone pits. Deciduous forests are the preferred land habitats.

 Situation and endangerment in the project area

The yellow-bellied toad belongs to the rarest anuran species in Luxembourg and is threatened with extinction. Only 3 occurrences are currently known in Luxembourg, one of which is located in the Natura2000 territory “Dudelange Haard” and thus within the project area. The aforesaid population probably correlates with a population across the French border. The main causes of threat are the asphalting and fixing of dirt roads, as well as the regulation of streams and rivers. Additionally, the few existing populations are isolated from one another.

 Provisions within the project

Purchase of up to 5 ha and construction of temporary ponds and flood depressions in suitable locations. Possibly, a breeding of the species with following release in specific areas will be conducted. Those new populations minimize the risk of extinction of the species.