It’s big, green, fiercely protective, aggressively territorial and no match for vehicles. It’s the giant bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) – not to be confused with its lesser cousin the African or bushveld bullfrog (Pyxicephalus edulis) – and its breeding season is here, which means crossing busy roads that cut through its routes to breeding grounds.
Listed as near-threatened in South Africa, according to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), it also has to survive habitat destruction, which is most severe in Gauteng.
Anton van Niekerk of the Greater Kyalami Conservancy says the giant bullfrog, which can weigh up to 2kg, is happiest breeding in centimetre-deep seasonal pools at the bottom of valley wetlands.
The female is generally half the size of the male. The frogs have been known to travel up to 2km to reach their breeding grounds and it’s during this journey that the carnage begins.
If motorists see carcasses of giant bullfrogs, they are encouraged to make use of the EWT Roadwatch app – available free in IOS and Android – to record time, date, place and other information to be used by the EWT’s Innocent Buthelezi in its wildlife and roads project.
Buthelezi said that according to information collated so far of recorded sightings, the giant bullfrog is most likely to be seen around Kyalami and the municipal borders between Mogale City, Johannesburg and Tshwane.
If you find an injured bullfrog, it could be saved if you take it to the Joburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital. But stay away from the sharp end. While not poisonous, a breeding male can be very aggressive.