Following revisions to the Hyperolius nasutus complex by Channing et al. (2013), this species is now thought to be restricted to the southeastern coast of South Africa, eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, and marginally into northern Eastern Cape Province—an area formerly attributed to Hyperolius acuticeps—between 0–1,500 m Asl. Its presence has not been confirmed in neighbouring Mozambique and Swaziland. As such, its revised extent of occurrence (EOO) has been estimated as 46,851 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is associated with emergent vegetation at the margins of swamps, rivers and lakes in savanna and grassland habitats. It does not respond well to extreme urbanization and agricultural intensification. It breeds in swamps, shallow pans, vleis, lakes and permanent pools with emergent vegetation.
There is little quantitative information on the population size and trends. However, there has been an observable decline in the abundance and distribution of this species, which was previously common and widespread, and is now rarely encountered over much of its known range (Bishop 2004, James Harvey pers. comm. August 2016).
It is threatened by habitat loss and degradation caused by coastal development, wetland drainage, afforestation, expansion of sugar cane plantations, and wetland degradation through over-utilization by cattle.
It has historically been recorded in a number of protected areas, including the Mkambathi Nature Reserve, Ndumu Game Reserve, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park; however, there are few recent records from most of these areas, e.g. despite intensive surveys, it has not been found in Ndumu Game Reserve (Louis du Preez pers. comm. August 2016).
In view of large scale habitat degradation and wetland loss within its range, and its decline and current rarity, it requires habitat and site protection.
Research is urgently required regarding its current distribution, population size and trends, ecological requirements, and threats.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Despite some uncertainty around the limits of its range, this species is listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, presumed large population and the large amount of available suitable habitat.
Pickersgill (2007) removed this species from the synonymy of Hyperolius acuticeps based on its voice. It is a member of the H. nasutus complex. A recent reevaluation of the group's taxonomy (Channing et al. 2013) confirmed the validity of this species, based on morphological, genetic, and acoustic evidence.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Hyperolius poweri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T136026A100902836. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T136026A100902836.en .Downloaded on 15 November 2018