Anhydrophryne rattrayi
Rattray's frog
family: Pyxicephalidae
subfamily: Cacosterninae

© 2004 Robert C. Drewes (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
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 known only from the Amathole, Katberg and Keiskammahoek Mountains (three threat-defined locations) in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It occurs above 950 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,185 kmand its area of occupancy (AOO) is 422 km2. There is a record from near Patensie (J. Visser pers. obs.), some 200 km southwest of the main range, but the species has not been found in this area since it was discovered in 1961 and needs verification, and thus it has not been included in this assessment.

Habitat and Ecology

It inhabits the leaf-litter of montane forest and lives on the forest edge, being particularly associated with the grassland-forest ecotone, and with small patches of grass and wetland inside forest. However, it is not found outside forest. Reproduction takes place by direct development, without a larval stage. The male is thought to make a nest using his hardened snout. About 11–20 eggs are laid in a hole in damp mud, among grass or under leaf litter. Each egg is 2.6 mm in diameter enclosed in a 6 mm jelly capsule. About four weeks is needed for development to be completed (Dawood and Stam 2006).


It can be common in suitable places. The population is not thought to be severely fragmented as less than half of the animals are in isolated patches. It is recorded from three locations. The largest subpopulations occur in the Hogsback and Isidenge forest, while the western Katberg subpopulation is confined to a very small area (W. Conradie pers. comm. August 2016). All three subpopulations' status has recently been confirmed; Katberg and Isidenge confirmed as of April 2016 by W. Conradie and A. Rebelo and Hogsback confirmed as of July 2015 by W. Conradie.

Population Trend


Major Threats

The main threat is habitat loss due to wood collection, afforestation, encroachment of invasive plants and too-frequent fire regimes. The forests that this species inhabits are vulnerable to degradation due to changes in management of the surrounding landscape, especially with respect to alien plants. Pines are often planted right up to the natural forests, destroying the grassland-forest ecotone and subject to 'escapees' establishing themselves in natural forest patches (J. Tarrant pers. comm. August 2016). Logging and main roads have been noted to bisect some breeding sites. Its remaining habitat is very restricted and patchy.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in several state forests and nature reserves, including Hogsback Indigenous Forest, Katberg Forest, and Stutterheim Nature Reserve. Replanting of indigenous tree species within the distribution is underway in several areas around Hogsback (J. Tarrant pers. comm. August 2016).

Conservation Needed
Forest grassland ecotone protection might benefit this species and may be an undervalued habitat for conservation. 

Research Needed
More information about the phenology of this species would be useful, as well as trends in populations and assessment about the magnitude perceived threats.

Red List Status

Vulnerable (VU)


Listed as Vulnerable, as this species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,185 km2, it is known from three locations, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of habitat. Although this species qualifies as Endangered, it appears to be plentiful where it occur, is not considered to be fragmented and the decline in habitat quality is not thought to be particularly severe.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2016. Anhydrophryne rattrayi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T1301A511335. .Downloaded on 16 January 2019


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