Discover fascinating frogs of the Drakensberg with an informative talk at The Nest Hotel this Saturday 10 March 2023.The Drakensberg is a stunning mountain range located in South Africa that stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres. The region is known for its breath-taking landscapes, unique flora and fauna, and its diverse range of frog species. We will explore three of the most fascinating frog species found in the Drakensberg: the Drakensberg River frog, the Natal Ghost Frog, and the Long-Toed Tree Frog.

Drakensberg River Frog

The Drakensberg River Frog (Amietia dracomontana) is a medium-sized frog that can grow up to 80 mm in length. This species is endemic to the Drakensberg mountains, where it can be found in fast-flowing mountain streams and rivers. The Drakensberg River Frog has a distinctive coloration, with a light brown to greyish-brown back and a pale yellowish-brown belly. Its skin is smooth and moist, and it has a rounded snout and large, webbed feet.

The Drakensberg River Frog is an important indicator species of the health of mountain streams and rivers. Its presence indicates good water quality, and its absence suggests that the habitat may be degraded. Unfortunately, like many amphibians worldwide, the Drakensberg River Frog is threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change.

Natal Ghost Frog

The Natal Ghost Frog (Heleophryne natalensis) is a small, cryptic species that is difficult to spot in the wild. This frog is found in the Drakensberg and other mountain ranges in South Africa and Lesotho, where it inhabits rocky streams and waterfalls. The Natal Ghost Frog is known for its unique coloration. It is a mottled brown and green, helping it blend in with its surroundings.

The Natal Ghost Frog is also known for its remarkable ability to climb steep rock faces using its specialized toe pads. This adaptation allows it to escape predators and reach suitable breeding sites. During breeding season, male Natal Ghost Frogs produce a series of distinctive calls that can be heard echoing through the mountain streams.

Long-toed Tree Frog

The Long-Toed Tree Frog (Leptopelis xenodactylus) is a medium-sized frog. It is found in the forests and grasslands of the Drakensberg and other parts of southern Africa. This species is arboreal, meaning that it spends most of its time in trees and shrubs. It has long, slender toes that allow it to grip onto branches and leaves. Also their skin is covered in small bumps and ridges.

The long-toed tree frog is known for its loud, distinctive call, which sounds like a series of high-pitched whistles. Breeding season for this species usually takes place during the rainy season, when the males gather in trees and bushes to call for females.

Overall, the Drakensberg is home to a diverse and fascinating range of frog species. The Drakensberg River Frog, Natal Ghost Frog, and Long-Toed Tree frog are just a few examples of the unique and important amphibians that inhabit this mountain range. Protecting their habitats and ensuring their survival is crucial for maintaining the health and diversity of this incredible ecosystem.

So come and discover fascinating frogs of the Drakensberg! Join us on Saturday 11 March for a Frogging evening with Kirsty Kyle at 17h30. The evening will commence with an informative talk on frogs in South Africa and specifically the Drakensberg. For more information please contact us.

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