Children rescue frogs in Neu-Ulm – SWR Aktuell

The frogs are currently having a particularly difficult time on their way to the spawning waters. By the roads, the cold has stopped. Kids learn more during a rescue mission in Ingstetter Weiher.

It’s only a short time in the year: From mid-March to mid-April. But it is very dangerous for frogs. When the weather gets warm, the frogs wake up from their cold hibernation and make their way to the spawning pond. But for many of them, the hike ends fatally: they are run over.

Children want to save frogs

On Sunday, 15 children went on a rescue mission with their parents with the largest number of amphibians in the Neu Ulm region – about 5,000 – and a road that cuts their migration route: in the woods around the Ingstetter Weiher near Roggenburg. Bernd Koros-Nagele of Pond Natureschutz gave them essential knowledge of the frog rescuer.

“If the dog thinks he should eat the frog, it won’t do him any good.”

The frog is caught in Bernd Koros-Nagel’s hand and looks anxiously back and forth. 15 pairs of baby eyes staring at her. “The skin is brown, a little wet and slippery. Then there are these brown bumps on top. This is animal protection.” Because there’s a toxin in the warts, according to the conservationist: “If a dog thinks he should eat a frog, it doesn’t do him any good.” Then the poison will be released.

Touching a frog once – a special children’s moment in the Federal Government’s campaign for nature conservation in Ingstetter Weiher


Isabella Hafner

But children do not bite the frog. Most of them even want to be touched. It’s a good thing Bernd Koros-Nagel brought the frog with him just to be on the safe side. Who knows if they’ll even find one that day? Because at the beginning of the rescue mission, it started snowing. And when it’s cold, frogs, toads, and amphibians are hardy. “Unfortunately, we always have these cold snaps, which then bring long flights to a halt. It would be ideal if it was constantly warm and humid,” explains Kurus-Nägele. Even nights above five plus degrees are raining. Because animals need a lot of moisture so that their skin does not dry out. Many of the animals collected since mid-March were “already very dry”.

Toad Tunnel, rescue traps and fences near Roggenburg-Ingstetten

Then it starts. Children enthusiastically run across the swampy grass to the frog fence – a plastic strip along the highway. Before that, there was a jar in the ground every 50 meters. This is where the animals have to fall. Volunteers from Bund Naturschutz pick them up in the morning and evening and take them to the pond. Koros-Njili is sure that without this protection and help there would be no more frogs here either.

Frog Trap: Volunteers take animals from these enclosures on the road near Ingstetter Weiher and bring them across the road.  (Photo: SWR, Isabella Hafner)

Frog Trap: Volunteers take animals from these enclosures on the road near Ingstetter Weiher and bring them across the road.


Isabella Hafner

Then loud cries: “We have one, yes, yes!” Everyone is excited. A boy takes an ordinary frog from a collecting bowl. It’s the only find on a Sunday afternoon. Several animals may have just found one of the little tunnels under the road to the Ingstetter Weiher.

Once you cross the frog tunnel, please.  (Photo: SWR, Isabella Hafner)

Once you cross the frog tunnel, please.


Isabella Hafner

Of course, kids should try this cool tube for themselves. You have to know how the frog feels. Shortly thereafter, they carefully moved the frog—which they had brought with them—and two toads across the street with their parents. By the way there are two males. You can tell by the black handles on their paddle-like hands, says Bernd Koros-Niegel. This way they can stick to the female better.

Three times more than the male frogs of the Ingstetter Weiher

But the increase in the number of males should not cause any joy among their fellow species in the pond: “The sex ratio of common frogs is three to one. This means three males for every female.” That is why you can sometimes see that the female of the animal is already occupied by the male during migration: the woman carries the man. “And with that, he’s already secured his queen. Of course, that’s a really nice point for him.”

Children stand around a swampy spot near Rogenburg-Engstetten where they have released frogs.  (Photo: SWR, Isabella Hafner)

Nothing happens to frogs here. Time to say goodbye


Isabella Hafner

The children have now arrived at the Ingstetter Weiher entrance. The perfect place to leave the frogs to their fate. Shortly thereafter a loud shriek: the frog tries to swim crazily against the current – the frog immediately hides. Children think she is building a cave. Bernd Koros-Nagili leaves it at that.

Ciao ciao, frog!  A boy abandons an animal at a tributary of the Ingstetter Weiher.  (Photo: SWR, Isabella Hafner)

Ciao ciao, frog! A boy releases a second frog at a tributary of the Engstetter Wehr.


Isabella Hafner

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