|Scientific Name:||Leptopelis xenodactylus Poynton, 1963|
|Taxonomic Source(s):||Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 March 2016). New York, USA. Available at: http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.|
|Taxonomic Notes:||The relationships between this and other species without toe discs requires a detailed taxonomic study using molecular and morphological methodologies.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG)|
|Contributor(s):||Channing, A., Rebelo, A., Turner, A.A., Schiøtz, A., de Villiers, A., Becker, F., Harrison, J., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, G.J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M.J., Baptista, N., Hopkins, R., Davies, S., Conradie, W. & Chapeta, Y.|
|Facilitator/Compiler(s):||Rebelo, A., Garollo, E., Measey, G.J., Neam, K.|
Listed as Endangered, in view of its area of occupancy (AOO) of 42 km2, the severely fragmented nature of its subpopulations, and a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat, AOO, number of subpopulations, and in the number of mature individuals.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||This species is endemic to southeastern South Africa in the southern KwaZulu-Natal Province highlands. It is not found on the steep slopes of the escarpment, but primarily occurs between 1,000 and 1,830 m Asl. Its presence in Lesotho is unlikely (J. Harvey pers. comm. August 2016) and it is possibly extinct from the Weza region. It is known from 18 locations, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of around 11,000 km2 and an AOO of 42 km2. This AOO estimate is based on known breeding sites (14 sites, five occurring in a close cluster and the other nine occurring in relative isolation from each other, with more than 40 km between them). There is the possibility that additional sites will be discovered (Armstrong 2001), as it is suspected that not all breeding sites are known. There is a continuing decline in AOO, as the seasonal wetlands it inhabits are being degraded or lost through agriculture, afforestation, dam construction and urbanisation.|
Native:South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is cryptic and not commonly encountered. The population is considered to be severely fragmented as over 50% of individuals are in isolated patches, and the distances between known subpopulations are considered to be too great for dispersal within one generation. There are historical records from the Weza region, but a fairly intense survey of this region was conducted in 2006–2007, including a known locality, but the species was not detected (J. Harvey pers. comm. August 2016). It is not impossible that it still persists there, but it appeared to be absent from that known locality, which is under heavy pressure from afforestation (J. Harvey pers. comm. August 2016). There are similar sites (for example, near Ixopo) that, based on satellite imagery, appear to be under heavy anthropogenic pressure, and may no longer support the species (J. Harvey pers. comm. August 2016). Therefore, based on the Weza region and the possibility that other subpopulations may have disappeared, it is likely that there is a decline in the number of subpopulations, as well as number of mature individuals.|
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It occurs in grassland and breeds in upland bogs, grassy wetlands and marshes. Eggs are laid in a nest in the ground near water.|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Yes|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|
|Congregatory:||Congregatory (and dispersive)|
|Use and Trade:||There are no records of this species being utilized.|
|Major Threat(s):||Threats to this species are: afforestation, inappropriate fire regimes, cattle trampling, overgrazing and associated eutrophication of breeding sites, the spread of alien plants that lower the water table (leading to drying out of breeding sites), dam construction and urbanisation.|
It is found in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, which is well managed for biodiversity conservation.
Appropriate management of known sites is necessary. Areas in which it occurs require stakeholder agreements for sensitive management and protection.
Priorities for conservation work include determination of dispersal, requirements in terms of terrestrial habitat and distribution together with categorising threats. The relationships between this and other species without toe discs need to be studied. This species would make a good candidate for monitoring.
|Citation:||IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG). 2017. Leptopelis xenodactylus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T11700A77163657.Downloaded on 14 December 2017.|
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