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An assessment of the current distribution, biodiversity and health of the frogs of the Kruger National Park in relation to physical and chemical factors
Expanded Title:There is strong evidence that frog populations are declining globally, and in some cases entire species have become extinct. In southern Africa the decline has been observed, but only at the local population level, and usually confined to areas directly impacted by relevant threats. These declines have been attributed to a combination of factors, including climate change, chemical pollution, habitat loss and disease. Amphibians in southern Africa, are threatened by habitat destruction resulting from wetland drainage, afforestation, crop farming, invasive alien vegetation and urbanisation. Data about the decline in frog populations in South Africa is lacking. Amphibians also fall prey to viruses, fungi, and to parasitic infections by protozoans as well as by various helminths. The majority of frogs use wetlands for breeding, and many are found in or near bodies of water outside the breeding season. In South Africa 88 of the 105 (84%) described species use wetland habitats. This study examined 45 pan sites, representative of the ecoregions within the Kruger National Park. Sites were selected representative of as many vegetation, geological and habitat types as possible. Frogs and tadpoles were collected and during night surveys, calls were recorded and frogs crossing roads were collected. Where water was present, samples were collected and in situ water parameters were measured. Sediment samples, for sediment classification and chemical analyses, were collected from all the sites. From the combination of historic records and the recent field surveys 34 frog species were listed in the Kruger National Park. The water quality, revealed no conclusive results, though some organs (kidney, liver) showed pollution impacts in some frog species. This study recommends long term monitoring, specifically focused on amphibians within the Kruger National Park pan systems.
Date Published:01/01/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1928/1/12
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0361-1
Authors:Vlok W; Fouche PSO; Cook CL; Wepener V
Project No:K5/1928
Originator:WRC
Organizations:University of Venda; North West University; University of Johannesburg
Document Size:4 980 KB
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