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Western Leopard Toad breeding season is here
Amietophrynus pantherinus

Dear Marina Da Gama Residents

My name is Mark Day, extension officer for the Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee. I am coordinating census and volunteer work for the breeding season this year for all sites on the Cape Peninsula & Cape Flats.

As you are probably aware, the Western Leopard Toad Amietophrynus pantherinus is an endangered species, of which population numbers have gradually declined over the past few decades. This can be attributed to the numerous threats which come hand-in-hand with living in an urban environment. Habitat destabilization and loss to development; fragmentation of populations; and loss of distribution and localities are some of the reasons for its endangered status. Over a period of twelve months, it is around the breeding month of August; and from October to December, when the toadlets emerge from the water bodies, that the species is most threatened. During these periods of movement, motorists, pets and mowing of green belts in breeding areas are some of the biggest threats to the species, having a direct influence on the success of the breeding season.

This year we are hoping to improve records, by gathering more information on all the breeding sites within the greater Cape Town area.

I am asking for your assistance in volunteering some of your time over this brief breeding period to assist me in data collection for your area.

Due to the nature of Marina Da Gama in terms of its location and structure, a unique opportunity to gather valuable information is presented.

Here are the following areas I am looking for assistance with:
  1. Where possible, I would like all residents who know of toads in their gardens to fill out the observation form. This would need to be done before the toads start moving towards their breeding sites. When referring to the second page of the form, you need not give such detailed information, a simple few words is sufficient. On the toads return to your garden, please can you send a confirmation to my email address with your name and residential address, indicating that the toad/s all returned to your property. Furthermore if the toad/s did not leave at all please can you let me know, along with your residential address and name.

    In all emails can you please supply me with a contact number so I can call if I have any queries.

  2. Where possible, residents are obliged to take a photo of their toad and send it to my email address, as given below. (Each toad has its own unique markings and can be differentiated on examination)
  3. If you would like to assist in moving toads off roads at night and with further data collection during the breeding period, contact me on my email of on the Western Leopard Toad Hotline number.

  4. When you here the toads start to call, please can you phone the Western Leopard Toad Hotline number to let me know of their movement.

  5. If you find a dead toad which is still fresh, please could you put it in a sealable bag and take it to Cassey Sheasby at the Greater Zandvlei Nature Reserve. I will collect it from her and take it through to the South African Biodiversity Institute center at Kirstenbosch for DNA analysis.

  6. Lastly, if you have friends that may be interested in volunteering, these are the other areas where census work will be taking place: Clovelly/Fish Hoek; Sun Valley; Noordhoek; Glencairn; Kirstenhof; Lakeside; Frogmore Estate; Rust-en-Vrede (Constantia); Bergvliet; Little Princess Vlei; Rondevlei Nature Reserve and surrounds; Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve & surrounds; Fairways; Orchard Village; Hout Bay & Crest Way.
Your assistance will be valuable in our efforts to save this charismatic toad. Every bit of effort, no matter how small, makes a difference in the bigger picture!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank You in anticipation.

Mark Day
EXTENSION OFFICER
Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee
Western Leopard Toad Hotline number: 082 516 3602
volfire@sanparks.org
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