Breviceps gibbosus
Giant rain frog
family: Brevicipitidae

© 2005 Wolfgang Ochojski (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Near Threatened (NT)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species is endemic to the southwestern Western Cape Province of South Africa, where it ranges from the central Cape Peninsula in the south, to west of Citrusdal in the north. There is a distribution gap in the Swartland. It ranges from 10 to 600 m Asl. It occurs in more than 10 threat-defined locations and its EOO is 9,488 km2.

Habitat and Ecology

It is a burrowing frog of renosterveld fynbos heathland. It also occurs in disturbed habitats, such as pine plantations and gardens, and there is ongoing decline in its habitat over much of its range. It breeds by development occurring directly in subterranean nests with up to 22 froglets recorded for this species (Minter et al. 2004), and is not associated with water-bodies.


It can be relatively common in parts of its range. Its population is not considered to be severely fragmented (as less than half of the individuals can be found in isolated patches).

Population Trend


Major Threats

Although it is somewhat adaptable, its habitat has been severely reduced and fragmented by agricultural expansion in much of its range and urban development in parts of its range. It is possibly impacted by the use of pesticides, and herbicides, and it does not occur in agricultural land that is ploughed. This might account for the apparent absence of the species from most renosterveld fragments in the Swartland, north of Cape Town, but more systematic surveys are required. In garden areas Hadeda ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) were seen preying on individuals of this species.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are currently prioritised for this species. It occurs in several protected areas, including Cape Peninsula National Park, Helderberg Nature Reserve, and Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve. There is no area-based plan specific to this species, but populations in protected areas benefit from the protected area management plan concerned.

Research Needed
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats are needed.

Red List Status

Near Threatened (NT)


Listed as Near Threatened because, although it has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 9,488 km2 and a continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO) and the extent and quality of its habitat, it is relatively common, its population is not considered to be severely fragmented and it occurs at more than 10 locations.

Taxonomic Notes

This species, originally named Rana gibbosa, was the first African frog species to be entered into the Linnean system of nomenclature in 1758.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2017. Breviceps gibbosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T3069A77162627. .Downloaded on 21 January 2019


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