n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Verband tussen amfibiër-habitatsbenutting en bloedparasiet-infeksievlakke in die Pongola-vloedvlakte : referaatopsomming

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173



Frogs play an important role in the food web where they serve as both predators and prey. They thus play a key role in the stability of most ecosystem communities. Studies have shown that there is high correlation between the relative abundance of prey in the area, and the frequency these species are found in the gut contents of frogs in that same area. Southern Africa has a rich frog diversity. Frogs are highly adaptive organisms and have established in almost every suitable habitat on the subcontinent. Even though frogs are found in a wide variety of environments, most species are very specific to the particular habitat in which they are able to survive in and more importantly reproduce in. The aim of this study is to assess and document amphibian species diversity and habitat viability in the Pongola floodplain situated below the Pongolapoort Dam in northern KwaZulu-Natal. To investigate the effect of habitat utilisation on parasite diversity and infection levels a blood parasite survey on the amphibians in this area will also be conducted. In the life cycle of these blood parasites the vector is often either a mosquito or a leech. The leech is more likely to infect the more aquatic species while the mosquito will infect the terrestrial species. The hypothesis of this study is that the parasite species composition will reveal information that will enable us to better understand habitat requirements and utilisation.

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