20. - H. J. Anton,  Breeding productivity of  newts in small garden ponds. A quantitative observation and comparison with fish-populated pond, (Amphibian protection in house garden ponds November 2003    (Back)

My house garden has about 400 square meter within a residential area with comparable places. In the  neighbourhood Two  larger ponds exist They are fish populated as usual. I  have also a small pond being made by two concrete container of 1/4 cubic meter. Our area  near by the river Rhein  is flooded  in distances of three to 10 years. Since more than 30 years we observe the endemic amphibian population   Frogs like Rana temporaria  and Rana esculenta were found every yaers in the ponds and later in the gardens too. In contrast to my small one in which I never had spawn the  neighbour pond have it nearly each spring.
  In spring when ice is molten, newts like Triturus vulgaris and Triturus alpestris were found in each pond. While in the fish populated neighbour ponds never newt-larvae grow up, my pond is extremly productive, without any artificial intervention. Although manydifferent species of  dragonfly-larvae live in the pond. In August of this year (2003)  I counted more than 60
Triturus alpestris larvae in  differend age and size. I am relatuve sure that no more than one or two females settled each each of my container.
In the  largest pond
of my neighbour not one larva was found. But thousends of young fishes fed all crustacean and midge larvae. If any urodele larvae hatched from eggs in this pond, they were catched by the old fishes as delicacy like the young fish population too. Because of the idea to  protect our regional amphibians like newts, frogs and toads one should teach  garden owners that ponds free from any foih populations will be quickly occupated by amphibians and dragonflys. Both are the natural inhabitants, They eat midges and midge larvae and need not to be fed additionally.
The two container of a 1/4 cubic meter each
 The upper aquarium in which the most animals were found
More than 65 Larva of different size developed  in these two containers without any protection or feeding.
This former swimming pool  was transformed to a pond  and populated with Goldfishes, which prevent amphibian breeding