The yellow-bellied toad

Bombina variegata - a species listed in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive

The original habitats of the yellow-bellied toad were the floodplains of the flowing waters of the Central German Uplands. In the Aachen CitiesRegion, the yellow-bellied toad colonises secondary habitats such as quarries, slagheaps and military training grounds. The replacement habitats are characterised by a mosaic of terrain that is stony, sunny and relatively free of vegetation and areas with a greater amount of plant cover, such as meadows and woodland. Key requisites are patchy rockfill or deadwood piles that are used as a hiding place. The terrestrial habitat is closely interconnected with temporary ponds, pools and puddles that serve as both a breeding site and for sheltering. Ideally, there is a network of a number of sunny pools and puddles.

In the Aachen CitiesRegion, the once common yellow-bellied toad is now found only in the region in and around Stolberg. Outside the project area there are still occurrences in the immediate vicinity of the Aachen city area. The occurrences are adjacent to those in the southern Dutch province of Limburg.

The yellow-bellied toad attains its northern range limit in Europe in Germany, and in Germany in NRW. Along the entire range limit considerable declines have been recorded in places, including in NRW. The original dispersal area here has, in the meantime, broken up into several small subareas. The yellow-bellied toad is on the verge of extinction in NRW (Red List 1S: threatened with extinction; without species protection measures, extinction can be expected).

The Aachen area is, apart from occurrences in northern Rhineland (supported by the Federal Biological Diversity Programme), the last current focus of state-wide occurrences (around 20-22 occurrences, according to the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection of NRW, status 2014).

GelbbauchunkeYellow-bellied toads like to spend their days in water.© Biologische Station StädteRegion Aachen e.V.
Laich der GelbbauchunkeYellow-bellied toads lay their eggs in small clutches, usually in vegetation.© Bettina Krebs

Distribution maps:

Geographical distribution

Distribution in Germany