Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species ranges from extreme southern Angola, through the northern two-thirds of Namibia, to Botswana, southward to central South Africa. The eastern limit of its distribution is very uncertain due to confusion with Bufo garmani. It is a low-altitude species.
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Amietophrynus poweri is found in arid southwestern Africa, including Namibia, Botswana, western Zimbabwe and western South Africa (Channing, 2001).

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

Comparisons

A. poweri is similar to B. garmani and can be difficult to differentiate them on morphology (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Ecology

Habitat

Highveld Grasslands Habitat

This species can be found in the Highveld grasslands ecoregion in southern Africa. This ecoregion now provides the last remaining stronghold of a number of grassland species that have suffered major reductions in abundance in the grassland biome, and which are consequently threatened with extinction (e.g. the Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradisea). There is a relatively biodiverse vertebrate fauna, with 608 taxa recorded.

The dominant vegetation comprises grasses, with geophytes and herbs also being well represented. Dominant and diagnostic grass species are Thatching Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) and Catstail Dropseed Grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis). Non-grassy forbs include False Paperbark Thorn (Acacia sieberiana), Rhus vulgaris, Selago densiflora, Spermacoce natalensis, Aandblom (Kohautia cynanchica), and Phyllanthus glaucophyllus. Relatively high precipitation levels sustain the grasslands during the austral summer, with the mean annual range between 400 to 900 millimetres.

The Highveld grassland ecoregion can be divided into three habitat types: (1) Kalahari/Karoo-highveld transition zone; (2) sweet grasslands; and (3) sour grasslands. In the western half of the ecoregion, a gradual transition occurs from the Karoo/Kalahari-highveld transition zone to the grassland habitats of the Highveld. Shrubs and trees grow in the transition zone, although grasses still dominate this zone.

Bird species richness is relatively high within this ecoregion. However, Botha’s Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris) is the only bird species strictly endemic to the ecoregion, where it inhabits heavily grazed grassland. An additional six avian species are near-endemics including White-winged Flufftail (Sarothrura ayresii), Blue Korhaan (Eupodotis caerulescens), White-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis senegalensis), Rudd’s lark (Heteromirafra ruddi), the Near Threatened Melodious lark (Mirafra cheniana), Buff-streaked chat (Saxicola bifasciatus), and the Vulnerable Yellow-breasted pipit (Anthus chloris).

This ecoregion contains a higher number of mammals, although only the Orange Mouse (Mus orangiae) is restricted to the ecoregion, and the Rough-haired Golden Mole (Chrysospalax villosa) is near-endemic. The ecoregion also supports populations of several large mammal species, some of which are rare in southern Africa (Stuart and Stuart 1995). Among these are the Vulnerable Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Brown Hyena (Hyaena brunnea), African Civet Cat (Civettictis civetta), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger), Ground Pangolin (Manis temminckii), Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis), African Striped Weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus), Oribi (Ourebia ourebi), and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae). Herds of large mammals, including Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou) and White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), previously occurred in the Highveld grasslands, but were extirpated by the local human population. Other notable mammalian taxa occurring in the ecoregion include the Vulnerable Juliana's golden mole (Neamblysomus julianae).

Relatively few reptile species occur within the Highveld grasslands, mainly due to its cool climate. However, the ecoregion supports some of Africa’s most characteristic reptile species, including Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), African Rock-python (Python sebae), Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) and Veld Monitor (Varanus albigularis albigularis). There are also two strictly endemic reptiles: Giant Girdled Lizard (Cordylus giganteus) and Agama aculeata distanti (Branch 1998). Several additional reptile species are near-endemics, including Drakensberg Rock gecko (Afroedura niravia), the Vulnerable Giant Girdled Lizard (Cordylus giganteus), and Breyer's Whip Lizard (Tetradactylus breyeri) (Branch 1998).

Twenty-nine amphibians occur within the ecoregion but none are endemic (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). Example anuran species in the Highveld grasslands are the Kimberley Toad (Amietophrynus poweri), African Dwarf Toad (Poyntonophrynus vertebralis), who breeds in temporary shallow pans, freshwater pools or depressions containing rainwater; the Red Toad (Schismaderma carens); Cape River Frog (Amietia fuscigula). endemic of the high slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains and Lesotho Highlands; South African Snake-necked Frog (Phrynomantis bifasciatus), typically found under loose sand below large rocks or boulders.

  • C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2015. Highveld grasslands. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC
  • J.P.H. Acocks. 1988. Veld types of South Africa. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa 57: 1-146. (An update of the first edition published in 1953),
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a denizen of open savannahs, wooded savannahs, thornveldt, river valleys and agricultural areas, breeding in temporary water (vleis, marshes, dams or pans), and sometimes-artificial pools.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Habitat and Ecology

A. poweri inhabits thornveld and open savanna in lower-rainfall areas of the Savanna Biome, including river valleys on Kalahari sand. Much of its habitat occurs in cattle- and game-farming regions, and is well protected (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Associations

Predators are unrecorded. Prey includes beetles (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

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Choruses of calling males form on mud banks and in open, shallow water. Around 23,000 eggs are laid in double strands that are attached to submerged and floating vegetation (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Channing (2001) reports that breeding occurs in pans, dams and marshes, breeding begins early in the season, usually in mid-September (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N.

Contributor/s
Channing, A., Poynton, J., Minter, L. & Tandy, M.

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats and its presumed large population.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern
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IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

A. poweri is common and often locally abundant (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Population

Population
It is a common species, and is often locally abundant.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
It is an adaptable species that is not facing any significant threats.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Amietophrynus poweri

Amietophrynus poweri is a species of toad in the Bufonidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, swamps, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, and ponds.

References

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