The Cape Caco (Cacosternum capense) is the species in the spotlight for FROG FRIDAY! This species is endemic to the Cape lowlands (below 280 m above sea level) west of the Cape Fold Mountains, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It occurs from the Cape Flats, through the wheat-growing region known as the Swartland, northwards for approximately 200 km to Graafwater, with two relictual populations occurring in the Olifants and Breede River valleys.

Its extent of occurrence (19 500 km² with an area of occupancy of around 1%) appears to have contracted over the last few decades, in tandem with increased urbanization, and it is now extirpated from the urban areas and immediate surrounds of Cape Town. However, this process has slowed in recent years.

Listed as Near Threatened because while it occurs in about fifteen different locations and its distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented, its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², its area of occupancy is probably less than 2,000 km² and the quality of its habitat in the south-western Cape is declining.

Reference: South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2010. Cacosternum capense. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>

Frog Fridays celebrate the amazing diversity of frogs and toads in the southern African region. Click here to learn more about Frog Friday and the Animal Demography Unit.