Ghost Frog vs 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is here. Everybody is excited and is counting down the days to the kick-off. Will South Africa be able to host such a huge event?

Cape Town will be one of the main venues for the tournament and are home of the iconic Table Mountain. The mountain is the main tourism attraction in the Cape Town with over 4 million visitors annually. Not a lot of people realise that this mountain is also the home to South Africa’s most threatened amphibian, the critically endangered Table Mountain Ghost Frog (Heleophryne rosei). How will the world cup affect this frog?

Table Mountain Ghost frog is known from only eight historical streams and although all these streams occur in Table Mountain National Park, it is badly affected by eco-tourism. Millions of tourist hike on the mountain annually and many of these footpaths cut straight through these sensitive streams and cause erosion and siltation.

With a flux of tourist coming to the world cup, more feet will be on the mountain than usual. Will Table Mountain National Park do something about this and close some of the trails? The effect on the tadpoles is worse than those to the adults. Adults can move around more freely, but tadpoles are confined to the stream.

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