Media releases & Case studies

Meet the amphibians living at our sites

By now, it’s no longer a secret to you that wildlife likes spending time at our quarries. Have you read our introduction to the Sibelco bee species? But there is more to discover: meet the amphibians living at our sites.

From yellow-bellied toads to midwife toads and great crested newts, we’ve been welcoming many kinds of amphibians at our quarries. The yellow-bellied toads for example live in different types of wetlands like lakes, ponds, stream pools or even wheel tracks.  They typically breed in nonshaded temporary pools with little aquatic vegetation, or close to woodland. Some of our Sibelco sites provide pleasant accommodation for these small animals, due to environmental conditions created by extracting our material solutions.

Unfortunately, the yellow-bellied toads are having a hard time dealing with changing living circumstances, due to urbanisation and industrialisation. Their natural habitats tend to become polluted or they become victims of drainage or water abstraction. These trends have led European lawmakers to protect the yellow-bellied toads under the EU Habitats Directive, asking all member states to step up and ensure conservation of these amphibians.

What is Sibelco doing to protect amphibians on site? 

In this picture, our colleagues are welcoming visitors from Natagora, the University of Liège and Fediex who were particularly interested to see how the yellow-bellied toads breed on site.

Here are some of the measures we have been taking:

-Ensure the presence of temporary ponds that dries out in late summer or during autumn. The Yellow-bellied toads especially feel at home in sunny ponds with little aquatic vegetation. It is advised to create a network of small ponds to increase breeding success;

-Avoid forestry work during the breeding season, which has recently started for the yellow-bellied toads;

-Maintain or restore sites for hibernation such as piles of stones or branches.

Such measures are only a small effort for us, but can mean a big difference in the life of amphibians.

 

Taking care of amphibians is part of our broader 2025 sustainability approach.