UPLOAD YOUR TOAD: Western Leopard Toad Monitoring Programme
Endangered and in need of help!
The Western Leopard Toad Amietophrynus pantherinus,is classified as Endangered by the IUCN as it lives within a very small part of Western Cape Province. This toad is in urgent need of conservation, but before we can make comprehensive conservation management plans, we need to find out more about how many adult toads are living in different areas.
Here is how you can help:
Each toad has a unique pattern on its back which can be used to identify it, rather like a fingerprint. If we can get good images of the backs of all the toads in your area, it will help us in three ways:
* We can find out where the toad you photograph goes to breed each year by matching the photograph you take with images taken at breeding sites.
* We can use individual patterns recorded in the photographs as unique marks which can tell us how far the toads travel, especially if the same toad is pictured many times in different places.
* We can find out how long toads live for, and how many get killed on the roads, and the total population sizes.
Here is what to do:
If you have any toads in your garden, or if you find toads at a friend's house or on a walk:
* Take a picture of the back of the toad.
It will need to be in focus, show the whole of the back of the animal from above, and
include something for scale (e.g. R5 coin, matchbox, ruler)
The two photographs show a useful and unsuitable pose for monitoring purposes:
* A useful photograph on the left shows the markings on the back of the toad which may be used for the identification of this individual as well as an indication of size.
* The photograph on the right is a really groovy mugshot, and quite suitable for iSpot. However, it isn't any help to monitoring as it does not show the markings on its back which are used for identification.
* You can place several photographs of your toad on iSpot: please make sure that one is suitable for monitoring, you can put your groovy photos first if you like.
Please make a separate observation for each toad: only one toad per observation!
Make a note of the place where you took the picture. This can be:
* a street address,
* a GPS co-ordinate,
* or you can use the iSpot Googlemap to find your locality
Make a note of the time and date that you took the picture (usually your camera will record this).
Just load it as you would a normal observation, by clicking on "Add an observation" and following instructions. Add the tag "WLT Monitoring" if your observation is especially for monitoring.
* Make sure that your photo shows the whole back of the toad, it is in focus and contains an object such as a coin for scale.
* Make a note where you took the photograph.
* Keep a record of the date and time you took the photograph.
You can find out more about this beast at www.leopardtoad.co.za
Click here for Observations of Western Leopard Toads
Most recent observations for "WLT Monitoring"
If you are an iSpot observer load your toad here: http://www.ispot.org.za/node/add/observation (remember the tag "WLT Monitoring" if it is a monitoring observation - casual observations are welcome)
If not: sign up here: http://www.ispot.org.za/user/register