Breviceps sylvestris 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Brevicipitidae

Scientific Name: Breviceps sylvestris FitzSimons, 1930
Common Name(s):
English Northern Forest Rain Frog
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: There are questions regarding the validity of two subspecies: Breviceps sylvestris sylvestris and B. s. taeniatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-03
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG)
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Rebelo, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Becker, F., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Cunningham, M., Baptista, N., Hopkins, R., Conradie, W. & Chapeta, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rebelo, A., Garollo, E., Measey, J. & Neam, K.
Listed as Near Threatened because, although this species does not occur in a wide area and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. While the species qualifies for Vulnerable, it is assessed as Near Threatened because it is considered to be common, tolerant to habitat change and threats are not considered too severe.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Limpopo Province of north-eastern South Africa, where it occurs at 12 locations within two disjunct subpopulations: Breviceps s. sylvestris occurs along the eastern escarpment; and B. s. taeniatus occurs in the Soutpansberg Mountains. The two subspecies are thought to be isolated by about 80 km of unsuitable habitat. It is a highland species, occurring between 800 and 1,800 m asl and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 17,824 km2.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Limpopo Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:5101.97Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:17824.09
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:12
Lower elevation limit (metres):800
Upper elevation limit (metres):1800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is locally common to abundant. The population is not considered to be severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits northern mistbelt forests and grassland habitats. It breeds in natural forests, grassy forest fringes, and adjacent open grassland and gardens. Individuals have also been found in plantations and on roadsides. Nests have been found under stones with the female in attendance. It is a terrestrial breeder with development occurring in subterranean nests.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are loss of habitat due to afforestation, fire, fruit plantations, and subsistence agriculture, and to a lesser extent housing. Invasive pines are also a threat. However, it does not seem to be too negatively affected by habitat transformation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in several protected areas, including Blouberg Nature Reserve, Thabina Nature Reserve, and the Wolkberg Wilderness Area.

Conservation Needed
Additional policy is required in terms of agreements with commercial land owners to manage this species' area for conservation.

Research Needed
Resolving taxonomic issues, identifying management units, biology and threats are seen as key priority research areas for this species. Of the threats, it is important to invest effort into how this species can best co-occur with developing agriculture. Once population sizes have been established, monitoring of populations and habitat should be put in place.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG). 2016. Breviceps sylvestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57721A77162960. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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