Anuran fauna of the Lesotho Highlands in the Khatse Dam catchment area and Jorodane River region

Van Dijk D.E. (1996)


Surveys were made of the anuran fauna of the Khatse Dam catchment area in the Lesotho Highlands, and of the region between the Central Mountains and the Thaba Putsoa Range which would be affected by Phase IB of the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme, if implemented. The Khatse Dam is at present filling. Seven species of anurans were encountered in the Khatse Dam catchment, and five of them also in the valley to the south-west. Four taxa occur all around central Lesotho, but one, the Gariep toad, has its south-eastern limit on the Drakensberg Escarpment, and another, Gray's frog, shows indications in Lesotho, as elsewhere, of being distinct from the typical taxon. Two taxa are endemic to the mountains of the Lesotho region, the one being more rheophilic and more wide-spread. The remaining anuran, previously unknown in Lesotho, is now recorded from the highly characteristic, strongly rheophilic tadpoles, as Heleophryne. The various available habitats and the associated anurans are reviewed. Features of the reproductive cycles, are noted. Dispersal and isolation are outlined. Reference is made to the most probable additions to the anuran fauna which further collecting might reveal. The probable impact of the Khatse Dam is discussed.

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