This species is restricted to high-altitude habitats above 1,200 m asl up to at least 2,100 m asl in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, occurring along the Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensberg escarpment, the Mpumalanga Escarpment and Wolkberg Arc. It occurs at higher altitudes than the closely related Cacosternum nanum.
Habitat and Ecology
It appears to occur mainly in high-altitude grassland habitats, but also in pastureland, plantations and montane forest. It breeds in well-vegetated ponds, ditches, marshes, streams and inundated grassland. The males conceal themselves in very dense vegetation, mainly grasses, at the edge of small waterbodies or streams. Its ecology is broadly similar to that of Cacosternum nanum, except that it appears to occur more frequently in anoxic, marshy habitats.
It is locally abundant where it occurs, and inhabits most suitable habitat within its range.
It is an adaptable species, and is not considered to be threatened or in immediate need of conservation action.
It is present in many protected areas, including the Royal Natal National Park, and the Giant’s Castle and Cathedral Peak Game Reserves.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats and its presumed large population.
We follow Scott (in press) in considering Cacosternum parvum as a species distinct from C. nanum.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Cacosternum parvum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T58071A3064657. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T58071A3064657.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019