The creation of pioneer ponds ; an action at the very heart of the LIFE in Quarries strategy of dynamic biodiversity management.
A quarry, by definition, is an environment impermanent change. Thousands of cubic meters of rocks are moved around to form new untouched landscapes every day.
Extractive activity also generates the release of an element essential to all life, fresh water.
In a quarry, it’s the presence of water of exceptional purity associated with the regular excavation of the rock which is at the origin of the formation of a rare environment, the pioneer ponds.
These ponds can dry up during the summer. This feature eliminates many predators and allows the reproduction of pioneer species like the natterjack toad or the midwife toad.
Creation of pioneer ponds
Various water supplies (groundwater, flows and precipitations) are used for the creation of pioneer ponds in different places of the quarry. The depressions are excavated using a mechanical shovel and are modeled to meet the criteria. If the substrate is not waterproof, it is possible to waterproof it with a layer of clay. Finally, to avoid the passage of vehicles in the ponds, rocks were installed to protect the ponds.
Naturally, these ponds are recolonized by too abundant vegetation and predators. They then lose their interest for the pioneer species. Dynamic management is therefore necessary to maintain their pioneering nature.
For more information :