Guttural Threat!!

Guttural Threat!!

Guttural Threat!! - Southern Africa : Due to a rich citizen bringing in toads from KZN to Cape Town the Guttural Toad is expanding from Constantia through the range of the Western Leopard Toad. The Guttural spread has probably been facilitated by nurseries: the toads move into the bagged pla

Due to a rich citizen bringing in toads from KZN to Cape Town the Guttural Toad is expanding from Constantia through the range of the Western Leopard Toad.
The Guttural spread has probably been facilitated by nurseries: the toads move into the bagged plants and pots and are sold around the neighbourhood.
They live in gardens and breed in garden ponds.

The problem is that we don't know what this means for our local endemic Western Leopard Toad. They are the same size and shape. But whereas the WLT is an explosive breeder - all getting together for a spring bang over a weekend - the Guttural breeds slowly and consistently throughout spring and summer

Will the two compete, hybridize displace one another? Is this another threat to our local endemic? Will they compete for the same breeding ponds?

We dont know. But we cannot sit and wait for a potentially disastrous outcome. By the time that we know what the problem will be it might well be too late to save our toad and the second Leopard may become extinct on the Cape Peninsula as we stand and watch.

Each female Guttural Toad is capable of laying up to 25 000 eggs. If this population is allowed to spread along our greenbelts and rivers there is a very real threat of them colonising all major Cape Town water bodies in the future with potentially disastrous consequences to our local frogs.
Guttural Toads have a loud guttural or rattling croak and call in the summer months, unlike the Western Leopard Toads that call only in August and September (although odd individuals will call when feeding in summer).

So: City of Cape Town Resource Management Department, in partnership with Nature Conservation Corporation (NCC), CapeNature and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), is embarking on a project to protect our indigenous frog from the invading Guttural Toad.
Please contact them - or post an observation here (click the Big Blue +Add observation button) - if you have seen or heard any Guttural Toads on your property.
The NCC regularly survey the Constantia and Bishopscourt area to work out their distribution (see the map). If your property is identified as a breeding site we kindly ask for your support when you are contacted to make appropriate arrangements to remove them.

This project was started because the Guttural Toad has just been recorded at Noordhoek - well beyond the Constantia Valley. Such a rapid and big jump is completely unexpected: probably spread by the nursery industry.

We urge all residents, especially those who border greenbelts, to assist us to stop the Guttural Toad invasion.
Please everyone be on the alert for this species. Listen to the frogs in your garden. Check any bags or pots of plants purchased in the Constantia or Noordhoek nurseries and report any instances immediately.

Please contact us - as below or by posting a picture on iSpot - if you have seen or heard any Guttural Toads on your property.

Contact Person: Jonathan Bell
NCC Environmental Services
Office: + 27 21 702 2884 E-mail: [email protected]
or WhatsApp Richard on 082 849 6611 or Jonathan on 072 037 3034

Guttural Toad Sclerophrys gutturalis (syn: Amietophrynus gutturalis)

Sources:

http://www.invasives.org.za/legislation/item/731-guttaral-toad-amietophrynus-gutturalis
http://www.wildneighbours.co.za/topical/news-from-around-cape-town/help-conserve-the-leopard-toad/guttural-toads-an-invasive-intruder/

https://www.capetown.gov.za/Fen/EnvironmentalResourceManagement/projects/BiodMagementConserv/Documents/Invasive_Guttural_Toad_flyer_v3.pdf says :
http://www.wildneighbours.co.za/topical/news-from-around-cape-town/help-conserve-the-leopard-toad/guttural-toads-an-invasive-intruder/

12 Feb 2016
Tony Rebelo