After the fire: assessing the microhabitat of Capensibufo rosei (Hewitt, 1926)
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Rose’s dwarf mountain toadlet, Capensibufo rosei (Hewitt, 1926), is endemic to fire-dependent, montane fynbos vegetation on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula. The area undergoes natural fire cycles that are disrupted due to increasing urban pressure from the City of Cape Town. In this natural history observation, we report on C. rosei microhabitats used and their distribution immediately after a wildfire that swept through the area in March 2015. We found that a substantial number of adult toadlets had survived the fire, and that they were located within 160 m of a known breeding site. Animals were consistently found inside burrows, presumed to have been excavated by small rodents. Our observations have important consequences on the conservation of this IUCN Critically Endangered species, especially with relation to compaction of areas in the immediate vicinity of breeding sites. We emphasise the importance of making natural history observations following extreme events, such as fire, to provide important insights into conservation of cryptic threatened species.
- RESEARCH: Measey, J