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Shovel-Nosed Frogs: Hemisotidae

Conservation Status

Of the nine or ten species in this family, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) considers one to be Vulnerable and facing a high risk of extinction in the wild; and four to be Data Deficient, which means that too little information is available to make a judgment about the threat of extinction. The Vulnerable species is the spotted snout-burrower, which is found in South Africa and probably in Swaziland, although scientists have not yet discovered it there. Members of this species live in groups, or populations, in several small areas that are separated from one another. The future of the frogs is threatened by the clearing of trees and plants in the frog's habitat. People clear the land to make way for sugar cane farms and housing developments. Fortunately, some of the frogs live in several protected areas, including parks, where land cannot be cleared. People are also, however, introducing fishes to the pools of water and small ponds that the frogs use for breeding. Often, these fishes eat the frogs and/or their tadpoles.

The four species listed as Data Deficient include the Masiliwa snout-burrower, Perret's snout-burrower, De Witte's snoutburrower, and a species known only by its scientific name of Hemisus barotseensis. Scientists have not done thorough searches for the Masiliwa snout-burrower or for De Witte's snoutburrower for many years and know little about either species. Perret's snout-burrower, which is found in Congo and Gabon, is rarely seen. Since it usually stays underground, however, it may be more common than it appears. Scientists also know little about Hemisus barotseensis, which was just discovered in 2002.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansShovel-Nosed Frogs: Hemisotidae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Marbled Snout-burrower (hemisus Sudanensis): Species Account - HABITAT, DIET, SHOVEL-NOSED FROGS AND PEOPLE