The common spadefoot is present on the pleistocene sandy soils of the provinces of Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. Many populations of the common spadefoot are present near brooks and rivers (especially branches of the river Rhine). Approximately 40 sites are known.
The common spadefoot is listed on the Red List as threatened. It is strictly protected under Dutch legislation, the Bern Convention (Annex ii) and the Habitats Directive (Annex iv). The range of the common spadefoot decreased by 74% since 1950. Main causes of decline are canalisation of brooks and rivers, resulting in a decrease of the natural dynamics and topographically varied transition zones. The loss of dynamics has an impact on both land and water habitat. Vegetation succession deteriorates both habitats. The conversion of land from extensive into intensive agriculture, the increasing industrial and urban development and the loss of ponds are major causes of the decline. In mesotrophic moorland pools where the species can be found, acidification may occur. On local scale the introduction of fish in ponds has contributed to loss, as well as poor habitat management. Improving the status of this species has proven to be difficult in the Netherlands. Only a small number of new ponds have been used by the species. The importance of the presence of good quality land habitat near breeding waters cannot be overvalued.
Eijk, J. van, Crombaghs, B., Creemers, R.C.M.
- Creemers, R.C.M. & J.J.C.W. van Delft 2009. De amfibieën en reptielen van Nederland. Nederlandse Fauna 9. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, KNNV Uitgeverij & European Invertebrate Survey-Nederland, Leiden.