[en] The knowledge of distribution and ecological determinants of species is a prerequisite to their conservation at a time where declines are generalized at a world scale. The aim of this study is to characterize these topics to discuss the status of amphibian species in Pays de Herve, an area which is representative of hedged farmland regions and their evolution toward a landscape homogenization. On more than four hundreds ponds surveyed, 72% contained amphibians. All Walloon amphibian species (except those recently disappeared), were present but some were rare. The natterjack toad and the crested newt are the two most threatened species in a close future, but almost all species are threatened with large population decreases. The destruction and abandon of cattle ponds is the primary factor of decline of amphibians in Pays de Herve, but other factors such as fish introduction and water pollution have also a negative impact in decreasing biodiversity in favour of less specialized species. Management and conservation measures should be taken as soon as possible to stop or at least slow down the current process.
Région wallonne : Direction générale des Ressources naturelles et de l'Environnement - DGRNE