Amatola Mountains, South Africa
The Amatola Toad is a small toad restricted to the montane grasslands of the Winterberg and Amatola Mountains in South Africa. Unfortunately, in 2010, its status was raised to Critically Endangered. It was also recognized
as having a high priority by Amphibian Ark and was recommended for a full rescue plan. The species has only been seen twice in 26 years, most recently in 2011. It is a grassland-wetland species and is threatened largely by forestry activity within its range.
Until recently, the Amatola Toad was thought to be extinct because, despite regular surveys in recent years, the species had not been seen since 1998. Fortunately, in September 2011 the species was found to be breeding
near Hogsback town (tadpoles and multiple egg stings were found in temporary puddles and a single female was found under a pine log). This confirmed that the species is in fact not extinct, but there is still concern that major
population declines have been experienced by the species, especially since historically the species has been reported in large numbers. In addition, the single female had a lesion on the dorsum caused by Ranavirus, a disease that is known to target bufonids (toads). The species has a limited distribution in the Winterberg and Amatole Mountains and is threatened by the extensive afforestation in the area that has eliminated a large proportion of the
grassland habitat of the Amatola Toad. Overgrazing and increased frequencies of fires in the region also threaten it.