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Action for the common spadefoot toad in Maas and Waal

The ‘Land van Maas en Waal’ is an area where the illustrious spadefoot toad is still present. Although the common spadefoot toad is a typical inhabitant of the river area, it has become a rare species that only lives in a few places anymore. With a contribution from Goodman, Staatsbosbeheer can improve its habitat in the Molenkolk and develop a new habitat near Ewijk. The pool frog, the common frog and the small newt will also flourish in these new habitats.  

Pelobates fuscus

The common spadefoot toad is also commonly known as the garlic toad which refers to the smell of garlic that is secreted by the skin in case of danger. It is a rather plump toad with strongly protruding eyes with an orange iris and a vertical pupil. One of the causes of the threat of extinction, lies in isolation of the common spadefoot toad populations through fragmentation and the loss of suitable biotopes over the years. In collaboration with the Ravon Foundation, Staatsbosbeheer has developed plans to preserve the species in the ‘Land van Maas and Waal’, which consist of the renovation of the already existing habitat and the creation of a new water and land habitat in the form of small ponds, marshes and fields.

New marsh

The isolated population in Ewijk will have a new marsh is strategically located, only a short distance from other marshes. For reproduction, spadefoot toads depend on quite large and deep pools of water with rich vegetation. In the spring, they migrate to the water to reproduce. Outside of the breeding season, the spadefoot toads live outside the water and then need open ground to dig themselves in. That is why, in addition to the newly constructed pond in Ewijk, agricultural grassland will be converted into an extensively cultivated field where the toads will have a comfortable habitat. Works will start beginning of April 2021.

Cleaning up existing habitat

The Molenkolk near Winssen is an existing habitat for the spadefoot toad. This water is the result of a dike breach and has silted up over time, with the result that during periods of drought, the spadefoot toad - as well as other amphibians - cannot enter their natural habitat anymore. That is why the Molenkolk will be deepened in collaboration with Staatsbosbeheer, the work is scheduled for the end of summer 2021. As part of its sustainability commitments, Goodman Netherlands compensates the ecological footprint of Nijmegen III Logistics Center by improving the garlic toad’s habitat in the Molenkolk and by developing a new habitat near Ewijk.

Follow the progress of this biodiversity project and visit this page regularly for updates.


Buitenfonds is an independent foundation that raises money for projects in the nature and forests managed by Staatsbosbeheer. This allows Staatsbosbeheer to realize valuable projects, such as afforestation and reforestation projects, bringing children out into nature, preserving and making cultural and historical treasures accessible, developing exciting ways to experience nature and enabling the social work of the forest ranger. Often, these are projects for which no funding is available (anymore). The Buitenfonds works together with companies and private individuals to realize green wishes for current and future generations.

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