Xenopus gilli 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Pipidae

Scientific Name: Xenopus gilli
Species Authority: Rose & Hewitt, 1927
Common Name(s):
English Cape Platanna, Gill's Platanna
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:
Taxonomic Notes: A deep genetic split characterises the disjunct distribution of this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,iii)+2ab(i,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-03-02
Assessor(s): South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A. & von May, R.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M. & Davies, S.
Listed as Endangered in view of its declining extent of occurrence currently being 1,450 km2, and area of occupancy of 14.5 km2, with all individuals in four locations, and a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to extreme south-western South Africa, occurring on the Cape Peninsula and the south-western Cape coast. It is a low-altitude species occurring at 10-140 m asl; currently known populations occur within 10 km of the coast. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 1,450 km2, is considered to be declining, and its area of occurrence is estimated to be 1% of the EOO.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Western Cape)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:14.5
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):10
Upper elevation limit (metres):140
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The spatial distribution of this species is not considered to be severely fragmented as one subpopulation/location holds >50% of individuals, however the distances between subpopulations of around 100 km is considered to be too great for dispersal within one generation. It appears to be relatively abundant in some of the known localities.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found only in black, acid water in Cape fynbos heathland. It is a winter breeder (July to October). It aestivates if waterbodies dry up. It does not tolerate alteration of its habitat, and the larvae are very sensitive to changes in water quality.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are habitat loss due to urbanization, agricultural run-off, and the effects of spreading alien plants. It may be threatened by hybridization with X. laevis, and there have been concerns about how many populations of this species represent pure X. gilli. X. laevis does not favour the acid water that X. gilli requires.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research priorities for this species include estimating dispersal capabilities, identification of management units and monitoring population size. The threat of hybridisation needs to be clarified, as Xenopus laevis now occurs throughout the range. Habitat management and restoration are needed. It occurs in Cape Peninsula National Park and Agulhas National Park, both of which are relatively well managed, although there is a need to control the spread of invasive plants within these areas.

Citation: South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2010. Xenopus gilli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T23124A9417597. . Downloaded on 28 July 2017.
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