Development threatens SA frog

2012-08-06 10:35
Increased tourism and growing residential developments may threaten the survival of the Desert Rain frog. (Alan Channing)

Increased tourism and growing residential developments may threaten the survival of the Desert Rain frog. (Alan Channing)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Nolloth - Increased tourism and growing residential developments may threaten the survival of the Desert Rain frog (Breviceps macrops) a herpetologist has said.

"They are already starting to build houses in prime habitat, not just in habitat where they might occur, but in places where they occur at high density," Professor Alan Channing told News24.

The Rain frog is one of the only frogs that have the ability to live within 10m of the beachfront areas. According to Channing the frog has a unique set of characteristics that make them successful in this habitat.

"They are well adapted for burrowing. They've got flanges on their back feet which act like little spades, so they can dig in backward into the sand. They also have a belly patch which is an area with lots of blood vessels and capillaries through which they can take up water through the soil," he said.

Channing said that the frogs form part of simple ecosystem which may be sensitive.


"There are desert plants which are eaten by beetles and the frogs eat the beetles, the frogs are then fed on by birds, snakes, and small mammals. So they are part of the energy flow from plants through to larger mammals."

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has listed the Desert Rain frog as vulnerable, which represents a high risk of endangerment in the wild.

The initial threat to the frog populations was Diamond mining at the coastal areas. Prior studies have shown that the now declining industry has caused extensive population fragmentation.

Luxury housing developments like Kai Kai coastal estate have now targeted the remaining beachfront areas and represent a direct threat.

Kai Kai managing director, Jimmy du Toit, who is in possession of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) said there is reference to the existence of the frog in the dunes in the area.

"It wasn't dealt with in depth. It was considered and certain recommendations were made. Culverts were created for movement of animals and roads were designed in accordance with the assessment," he said.

From a conservation point of view, Channing suggests that the population would survive if development within 50m of the beachfront were discontinued.

Channing's five year study, published in the African Journal of Herpetology, found that the Desert Rain frog should be able to recover rapidly from disturbance.

- Follow Dane on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    kimberley  |  animals  |  environment

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior Cash and Banking Clerk

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R8 000 Per Month

Internal Sales Representative - Board & Hardware Industry Lansdowne, Cape Town

Cape Town
West Coast Personnel
R6 500 - R7 500 Per Month

iOS Developer

Western Cape
Networkers International South Africa (Pty) Ltd
R40 000 - R70 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.