This species is distributed in the southwestern Western Cape Province in South Africa, along the Cape Peninsula. Based on genetics, the currently known easternmost limit is at Kenilworth Racecoarse and Rondevlei (Channing et al. 2013). It is a low altitude species, its EOO is 317 km2 and its AOO is estimated to be 55 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a species of fynbos heath land, and in the dry season individuals have been found aestivating under stones or logs and among the roots of dead reed-like plants in dried up watercourses. It typically breeds in seasonally inundated fynbos.
It is locally abundant where it occurs in aquatic habitats throughout the Cape peninsula, but is absent from artificial habitats, including impoundements and garden ponds, which make up most of the freshwater sites within its extent of occurrence (J. Measey pers. comm. March 2016). All of the sites from which it is known have a protected status.
The Cape peninsula is under huge pressure from urban development, the draining of wetlands and invasive alien plants. This species is found primarily within protected areas where all of these threats are actively managed.
It occurs in several protected areas in the Cape Floral Region.
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats are needed.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Its area of occupancy (AOO) and extent of occurrence (EOO) are 55 km2 and 317 km2 respectively, meeting the threshold for the Endangered category, and there is ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat outside protected areas. However, it is an abundant species with a presumed large population and occurs primarily within areas where threats are actively managed. The species does not therefore meet all the required criteria to be listed as Endangered and it has, therefore, been listed as Near Threatened.
This species was removed from the synonymy of Cacosternum boettgeri by Channing (2001), where it had been placed by Poynton (1964). Channing et al. (2013) described four new species in Cacosternum genus and revised the distribution of known Cacosternum species, so the range of C. platys has been restricted (southern Cape Peninsula populations are now referred to as C. australis, sister species of C. platys).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2017. Cacosternum platys. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58072A100022964. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T58072A100022964.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019