Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Find images of the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog linked here. We are unfortunately unable to use images due to copyright limitations of the photos of the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog.
Population Estimate: Unknown
Living in the deep waters of wetland systems, the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog is a victim of the rapid urbanization and loss of wetlands. The spread of agricultural plantations, such as eucalyptus and With an estimated less than 1% of their population in protected areas, the species will likely continue to decline in the wild without increased protections and conservation efforts by local communities.
As of 2016, they are found in only 12 locations along the coast of South Africa and populations are severely fragmented. Due to fragmentation, several subpopulations have become identified but the lack of gene flow between populations spells disaster for this endangered species. Captive breeding programs in several zoos in South Africa are attempting to fix this problem by introducing genetic diversity to different populations across the landscape.
Despite it’s desperate situation, the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog is a beautiful amphibian, changing from a dull brown to vibrant greens as it transitions into adulthood. They use these colorations to camoflage themselves in their habitat. They are insectivorous, hunting small insects. Their call sounds very similar to insect chirping, generally heard in the early morning. With their narrow habitat range and small size, the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog is difficult to find making their exact population size hard to estimate.
Written by — Joe Sweeney
The Pickersgill’s Reed Frog is part of the first captive breeding program for amphibians in South Africa.
Individuals are incredibly small by any standard at 3cm long.
They are only found in 2 protected areas.
It was named after the herptologist who discovered the species in 1978, Martin Pickersgill.
Their calls sound like chirping, which you can hear here!
How You Can Help
By donating to the Amphibian Survival Alliance, you can ensure your donation goes towards conservation efforts to protect amphibians worldwide. Roughly 30% of Amphibian species globally are threatened with extinction making them the most threatened class of vertebrates. With ASA, you can specifically choose where your donation goes to, such as habitat conservation or amphibian disease.
The National Zoological Garden allows you to symbolically adopt an individual in their program, Adopt a Wild Child. By donating to this program, your money is going to the upkeep of captive breeding programs for a variety of species, including the Pickersgill’s Reed Frog.
Petition / Donation Links