Breviceps macrops 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Brevicipitidae

Scientific Name: Breviceps macrops Boulenger, 1907
Common Name(s):
English Desert 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:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-01
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG)
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Rebelo, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Becker, F., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, G.J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Baptista, N., Cunningham, M.J., Hopkins, R., Conradie, W. & Chapeta, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rebelo, A., Garollo, E., Measey, G.J., Neam, K.
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) meet the thresholds for the Vulnerable category under criterion B. Furthermore, there is continuing decline in the quality and extent of habitat in part of its range due to residential development at one location (McDougall's Bay and Port Nolloth). However, the number of locations exceed the threatened thresholds, the species is no longer thought to be severely fragmented, and there it is unknown whether there is continuing decline or extreme fluctuations in the number of locations, subpopulations, or mature individuals. Strip mining, which was regarded as the major threat to this species in the previous assessment, has recently ceased (in South Africa) and this, together with attempts by the mining companies to restore large areas of habitat, could mean that in future this species is no longer threatened, but there is currently no evidence that the species has recolonised restored habitats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from just south of Kleinzee on the Namaqualand coast of South Africa, north to Lüderitz in coastal southwestern Namibia (Channing and Wahlberg 2011). It occurs in 11 threat-defined locations and its EOO is 13,246 km2. It ranges from close to the high-water mark to several kilometers from the coast, and appears to be limited to white sand dunes giving it an AOO of 1,446 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Namibia; South Africa (Northern Cape Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1446.03
Number of Locations:11Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is a lack of information on its population size and trends, but it is not considered to be severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It burrows into sand dunes vegetated with low, succulent shrubs and other xerophytic vegetation in the fog belt during the day and emerges at night to feed. It is most active during foggy nights. It is a terrestrial breeder, presumably laying a batch of eggs in a chamber below the surface on vegetated dunes.
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): This species was historically threatened by loss of its habitat as a result of coastal opencast diamond mining but this is ceasing in many areas. The recovery of this species relies on habitat restoration by mine agencies to restore degraded habitat, but there is currently no evidence to suggest that it occurs in restored areas (Channing and Whalberg 2011). Development of roads, increasing pressure from housing development (e.g. in McDougal's Bay), and changing land use (e.g. increased grazing) pose additional ongoing threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It is not known from any protected areas.

Conservation Needed
There is a need to establish conservation areas within the range of the species and restore its habitat.

Research Needed
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology (including breeding biology) and threats are needed. Studies on establishing whether this species can utilise regenerated land following past negative impacts of mining are ongoing. Population trends should be researched and monitored.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG). 2017. Breviceps macrops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T3070A2794989. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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