This species is known only from two locations on the slopes of the lower Klienrivier and Babilonstoring Mountains, near Hermanus, in Western Cape Province, South Africa, above 200 m asl and up to 1,100 m asl. Though it has a restricted range and extent of occurrence of 101 km2, most of its distribution occurs within protected areas.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a species of fynbos heathland, which does not survive in degraded areas. It breeds in wet mossy areas near densely vegetated streams and hillside seepages. It presumably lays its small direct-developing eggs (expected to be 10 like other members of the genus) in moss or similar vegetation.
It occurs in small, widely scattered subpopulations associated with seepages within two locations, one a large mountain range and the other a small mountain range. Fire and post-fire impacts on number of mature individuals are expected to cause large fluctuations in subpopulation sizes (as in other members of this genus), but the species as a whole should be buffered against these fluctuations by the relatively large number of subpopulations within each location if the fires are not severe enough to extirpate the entire location.
Its habitat is largely protected, although one threat to it is the spread of alien species (in particular pines and hakeas) and too frequent and intense fires which are expected to cause large fluctuations in subpopulation sizes (as in other members of this genus). However, these threats are not considered to be severe or intense but require active management as they will act synergystically.
It occurs in Babilonstoring, Fernkloof, Maanschynkop and Vogelgat Nature Reserves. Removal of alien invasive plant species, already being implemented in some protected areas, should continue across the entire range of this species.
Removal of alien invasive species and sound fire management.
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats, such as the effects of fire on this and other species of Arthroleptella, are needed. Monitoring population and habitat trends is also needed.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because, although it has small area of occupancy and extent of occurrence and extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals, the threats are currently not considered to be sufficiently severe or intense and are being controlled by provincial and local authorities as well as by private nature reserve.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2016. Arthroleptella drewesii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58058A77158328. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T58058A77158328.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019