Western Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus): What does it look like?
  • The Western Leopard Toad is an attractive frog. Its skin has red-brown patches outlined in yellow on a cream background, and usually a thin yellow line down the spine. It has a pair of raised red or brown glands on the head behind the eyes.
  • For most of the year, the Western Leopard Toad is hard to find. It is silent and burrows in the soil or hides in cool, damp places in gardens and open spaces only coming out at night to eat small invertebrates. It hides away during much of the hot, dry summer.
  • The Endangered Western Leopard Toad is endemic to the Fynbos Biome. They are found mainly on the Cape Flats and Cape Peninsula, as well as in Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Stanford and Gansbaai.
  • You are most likely to see or hear the toad during its short breeding season. It is also known as the August Toad or Snoring Toad, indicating when it is most active and what sounds the males make to call their mates.
  • Leopard Toads only enter slow moving streams and wetlands to breed. Females lay their eggs in water, where males fertilise them and the young tadpoles develop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Western Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus): Why is it threatened?
  • Leopard Toads are threatened by habitat fragmentation. Barriers like roads, walls and canals make it difficult for toads (and other small animals) to migrate or find suitable places to feed and breed. For example, the M3 freeway created a barrier between the toad’s feeding and breeding areas, resulting in a population decline.
  • Many toads are killed on roads when they migrate between their feeding and breeding areas. In about August adult toads migrate at night from gardens and open spaces to water bodies to breed. Sometime between the months of October and December the young toads migrate from water bodies to their feeding grounds.
  • Many frog species are threatened because there are very few seasonal wetlands left on the Cape Flats. These animals now depend on urban rivers, permanent wetlands and garden ponds where there are more predators that can eat the young tadpoles.
  • Frogs and tadpoles are killed by pollution in urban rivers and wetlands. Alien fish, such as bass and carp, also eat tadpoles reducing recruitment to the population. Many urban rivers and wetlands are invaded by alien water plants, which the city removes by dredging. If dredging takes place during the breeding season, many tadpoles and young toads are destroyed.
Present|Original distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus): What can we do?
  • Ask adults to drive carefully to avoid running over toads on the roads, especially at night during August and October.
  • Provide a habitat in your home or school garden where toads can feed and hide away:
    • Garden carefully to avoid killing toads hiding in holes in the soil.
    • Don’t use poison to kill garden pests because Leopard Toads that eat poisoned insects, snails and other small creatures will also die.
    • Leave gaps in the bottom of your garden wall or fence so that toads and other creatures can enter and leave your garden.
    • Plant an indigenous garden with lots of cover along the boundaries
    • Start a compost heap. Not only does this reduce the waste your household produces but you produce compost for your garden and create ideal Leopard Toad habitat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus): What can we do?
  • Help a toad to cross the road! If you live in a part of Cape Town where Leopard Toads breed, form a “toad patrol” at night during August and October / November to remind motorists to drive carefully and to help toads to cross roads safely.
  • Developers and engineers should consider the needs of urban wildlife when designing roads, canals and housing developments (e.g. build tunnels under roads so that animals can cross roads safely; conserve seasonal and permanent wetlands).
  • Do you want to find out more ways that you can be actively involved in saving Western Leopard Toads? Visit www.leopardtoad.co.za where you can find more detailed information about participating in saving the toad in your area!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the buttons to find out more about threatened animals in Cape Town:
 
Cape Galaxias (Galaxias zebratus)
Geometric Tortoise (Psammobates geometricus)
Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus)
Micro Frog (Microbatrachella capensis)
Common Opal Butterfly (Chrysoritis thysbe)