Tuesday, June 14, 2011

23 endangered amphibians

The Amphibian Blitz passed the 400 species mark today. So far we've had 23 'endangered or worse' amphibians consisting of 1 'Extinct' frog (I blogged about this one earlier here), 3 Critically endangered frogs, and 19 Endangered frogs and salamanders. I've listed all 23 below but lets focus on the three critically endangered frogs first.

 The Critically Endangered Sapito Acollarado Andino occupies a tiny range in western Venezuela which is where Cesar Luis Barrio Amorós took this beautiful photo of an adult carrying tadpoles on its back. According to the IUCN Red List, "Its habitat is impacted by agriculture, wood collection, and human settlement, although this does not seem to be having an immediate impact on the species. It is potentially at risk from a chytridiomycosis outbreak, since it has been reported to be infected (Lampo et al., 2006a), though it does not appear to show any symptoms of the disease. In May 2004, some specimens with malformations (polymelia, amelia) were found at the type locality (J. Manzanilla and E. La Marca pers. comm.) where significant pollution of the stream was also observed. The species was recently found to be restricted to a small area with a radius of approximately 2 km², and it is abundant at only one site of ca 2 m² (Rosemary Sánchez, pers. comm. 2008)."

Sapito Acollarado Andino (Mannophryne cordilleriana) Photo: Cesar Luis Barrio Amorós
 On July 14th 2010, Benjamin Tapley, found a critically endangered Raorchestes ponmudi in the northrn end of the Western Ghats in India, quite far outside of its native range. According to the IUCN Red List: "The habitat of this species is known to be declining, and the expansion of surrounding tea plantations is likely to exacerbate the rate of forest loss."

Raorchestes ponmudi Photo: Benjamin Tapley

On Nov. 19, 2008, Clay Simpkin stumpled upon an Eungella torrent frog in western Australia. This small frog is endemic to the region and is declining rapidly. According to AmphibiaWeb:
"The cause(s) of the decline remains unknown. McDonald (1990) found no obvious evidence that seasonal rarity, over-collecting, drought, floods, habitat destruction, heavy parasite loads or stress due to handling and data collection were responsible for the population declines. Sick and dying frogs have occasionally been encountered (Hero et al. 1998, Hero et al. in press) and it may be that the fungal disease, Chytridiomycosis, has had an impact on the population (Berger et al. 1998)."

Eungella torrent frog (Taudactylus eungellensis) Photo: Clay Simpkin

(an interactive list with photos is available here)
EX Incilius holdridgei Bufonidae - victoracosta
CR Mannophryne cordilleriana Aromobatidae - cesarlba
CR Taudactylus eungellensis Myobatrachidae - clay
CR Raorchestes ponmudi Rhacophoridae - benjamin
EN Pedostibes tuberculosus Bufonidae - benjamin
EN Atelopus limosus Bufonidae - briang
EN Pristimantis acutirostris Strabomantidae - benjamin
EN Pristimantis lancinii Strabomantidae - sapito
EN Pristimantis paramerus Strabomantidae - sapito
EN Pristimantis ginesi Strabomantidae - sapito
EN Pristimantis renjiforum Strabomantidae - gchavesp
EN Amietophrynus pantherinus Amietophrynus Bufonidae - mark
EN Agalychnis annae Hylidae - cesarlba
EN Litoria brevipalmata Hylidae - clay
EN Litoria raniformis Hylidae - ray
EN Cardioglossa melanogaster Arthroleptidae - davidcblackburn
EN Mannophryne collaris Aromobatidae - sapito
EN Mixophyes iteratus Myobatrachidae - clay
EN Mixophyes iteratus Myobatrachidae - clay
EN Rana sierrae Ranidae - muir
EN Rana muscosa Ranidae - loarie
EN Cochranella mache Centrolenidae - gregor
EN Plethodon welleri Plethodontidae - sapito
EN Bolitoglossa subpalmata Plethodontidae - sarasalamander

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One week in - 303 species!

Just time for a quick post one week-in. 303 distinct species have checked-in - that's 4.4% of the world's amphibians from 59% percent of the the 61 amphibian families (see more stats here). We finally got some caecilians (thanks Ben and Cesar!). I'm looking forward to doing some more stat visualizations so stay tuned.

Just one other note - several groups on Facebook including  Amphibian Identification Network: Amazonia, Herpetólogos de Costa Rica, and Professional Herpetologists have been extremely helpful providing identifications. I encourage everyone to join these and other amphibian groups. Then using the 'Send' button on any iNaturalist observation page, you can post an observation to the appropriate group to ask for ID help or just to share. Its a great way to hook into some incredible amphibian expertise.