Biology Citizen Science App


University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
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The AmphiBiom project aims to take an important step towards a comprehensive protection concept for the green toad. This involves an Austria-wide inventory and analysis of the habitat preferences of the critically endangered green toad, a typical pioneer species that can quickly colonize newly emerging waters.

Amphibians are highly endangered animal species both in Austria and worldwide, threatened by factors such as habitat destruction, fungal diseases, and land use changes. The green toad, an endangered pioneer species, is particularly eye-catching. It is characterized by the ability to quickly colonize newly emerging bodies of water and is mainly widespread in eastern Austria, with sporadic, isolated occurrences in the west of the country. Their natural spawning waters are steppe lakes that fill up after rainfall or ponds that form after floods and benefit greatly from solar radiation. In Europe, these natural spawning habitats for the green toad have almost completely disappeared, and today it often resorts to artificial bodies of water or lakes that arise after rainstorms. However, the green toad's conservation status is deteriorating due to the loss of brownfield land and the sealing of vacant lots in both rural and urban areas. To counteract this negative development, countermeasures are being taken, such as the provision of replacement habitats.

Habitat monitoring with the AmphiApp

The project relies on citizen science to investigate the spread of this pioneer species using the AmphiApp developed on the SPOTTERON platform in areas that are often inaccessible to research, such as private gardens. Citizens are actively involved in the project and learn how they can help protect this endangered species through relatively simple measures, such as creating small bodies of water. Such habitat creation will not only improve the conservation status of green toads but also promote overall biodiversity by attracting a variety of invertebrates such as insects. The knowledge gained is used to develop concrete protective measures for these rare biotopes. The active participation of citizens enables the initiative to be implemented broadly, increases its sustainability, and creates increased awareness of the protection of biodiversity in Austria. Those interested can register and use the AmphiBiom app to report amphibian calls or participate directly in the creation of spawning grounds for green toads using an online form at www.amphi.at.

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Live Citizen Science Map Application from AmphiApp

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