Poyntonophrynus vertebralis is restricted to central South Africa, and proximate to the Botswana border, occurring mainly in the Nama Karoo ecoregion and in the . (Hogan. 2013) Apparently isolated populations are perhaps part of a contiguous range. It is likely to be found in southern Botswana. It is chiefly found below 1500 metres above mean sea level. It breeds in temporary shallow pans, freshwater pools or depressions containing rainwater, quarries, and rock pools along rivers. Ongoing threats are present from widespread destruction of habitat, the expanding human population and the degradation of surface waters in the Orange River watershed, which actions have been occurring over the last quarter of the twentieth century to present.