The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department is pleased to note that its plans to re-establish a western leopard toad breeding site in the Kommetjie area have borne fruit and appeals to the public for its support in protecting this species.

Media release: 7 Dec 2012

In April 2012, the City of Cape Town initiated a restoration project at Skilpadsvlei, Kommetjie, which has enjoyed the support of many crucial partners.

A Leopard Toadlet on a R2 coin. Photo: Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department City of Cape TownThe historic wetland area on Erf 3719, Kommetjie, was drained and filled in during the 1940s. With the infilling of the main water body, the only known breeding site for the endangered western leopard toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus) within the Kommetjie area was lost.

The City of Cape Town provided funding for a phased rehabilitation project to re-establish the breeding site for the western leopard toad and to improve the natural open space for public enjoyment, as well as to restore the ecological functioning of the system. Excavations of the proposed breeding site commenced in April 2012, followed by a period during which water levels and water quality was monitored, informing further rehabilitation actions.

Endangered Leopard Toads in amplexusIt was with great delight that western leopard toads were recorded at the new excavation during the very first breeding season in June 2012. An amplexus* pair was recorded during evening monitoring activities, and evidence of a successful breeding event was confirmed with the emergence of toadlets during the first week of November 2012.

Unfortunately the breeding season also saw two of the three adult toads that pioneered the way back to the restored breeding site being killed on the roads immediately adjacent to the wetland. This places a sad uncertainty around the breeding season for 2013 after the unexpected success in 2012.

The City would therefore like to appeal to all motorists and home owners/residents to be aware of these animals and drive carefully in the area.

For more information regarding the endangered western leopard toad please visit The website also provides guidance on how to make your garden toad-friendly and how a small garden pond could also become a breeding space for this endangered species.

* The mating position of frogs and toads, in which the male clasps the female about the back.


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