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Invaded - Klein Swartberg

01 July 2021

10 years of monitoring the Rough Moss Frog

It was 2011 when I first visited the Klein Swartberg, near Caledon, to carry out aSCR recordings to measure density of calling male Rough Moss frogs, Arthroleptella rugosa, with Andrew Turner from CapeNature. Some of you will remember the visit of Debra Stark in 2015. Debra also conducted recordings of Rough Moss frogs on the mountain (see here).

Since then, the mountain burned and recovered, and we have been back most years to measure density of the frogs. In 2013, the mountain looked the best I've ever seen it. The fire that went through in February 2012 had taken out most of the large pines, and the seepage where the frogs call was free of invaders (see top image below). 

Last week we were back with Oliver Angus (lower image) who is looking at the aSCR data from all years for his Honours project in the MeaseyLab. That same seep was not only invaded by pines, Pinus pinaster, but the frogs were no longer calling from what had been a stronghold for them. 

Happily, they are still calling at other sites on the mountain. 

In this image you see a male Rough Moss Frog that was ~20 mm long (SVL). For their small size they make quite a good noise that we can use to measure their population size.

Stay tuned for more news on this project...

  aSCR  Frogs  Lab
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