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Platymantis diesmosi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA CERATOBATRACHIDAE

Scientific Name: Platymantis diesmosi
Species Authority: Brown and Gonzalez, 2007

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Rafe Brown
Reviewer(s): Simon Stuart, Neil Cox
Justification:
Listed as Data Deficient since it has only recently been described, and there is still very little known about its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, status and ecological requirements.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from Mount Malinao, in the municipalities of Tiwi and Malinao, Albay Province, on the Bicol Peninsula, in the south of Luzon Island, in the Philippines, between 900 and 1,160m asl (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). It is presumed to have a small distribution, but might occur more widely on the central geological component of the Bicol peninsula (for example on Mounts Isarog, Bulusan and Labo). It could possibly occur even further afield on Catanduanes and the Caramoan Peninsula.
Countries:
Native:
Philippines
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a very common species locally.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is currently known only from mid-elevational transitional forest between lower- and mid-montane
dipterocarp forest communities (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). Calling males exhibit a microhabitat preference unique among Philippine Platymantis, calling solely from the edge of steep cliffs along deep arroyo-like creek ravines (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). These frogs were observed at the upper edges of a few cliffs, 15–35m above the level of the water below, and were situated only on dry patches of soil directly underneath the overhanging edge of the cliffs’ upper lip. Calling males face out into the forest, away from the cliff edge, and calls could be heard 50–75m away in the forest below (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). In one locality, specimens were only collected 30–40m away from water, at the upper edge of a slope (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). Despite extensive searches below and above cliff ledges on the plateau above, individuals were only encountered along the narrow strip of exposed soil at the edge of the overhanging and collapsing cliff edge (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). The predominant vegetation is lower montane rainforest, the dominant trees being Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus>, Dacycarpus), Lauraceae, some Moraceae, Fabaceae (Lithocarpus) and Melastomaceae (Medenilla), with some stilt-rooted Pandanaceae (Pandanus), and many epiphytic shrubs, ferns, and orchids with moderate to thick moss cover on branches and trunks (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). During surveys on Mount Malinao, biologists spent several weeks at the lower edge of the forest (approx. 700–800m asl) and at higher elevations between the type locality and the mountain’s peak (1,550m als), but Platymantis diesmosi was only encountered between 900 and 1,160m asl (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). It has not been found outside forest. It is presumed to breed by direct development without dependence on water.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The available evidence suggests that this species is restricted to a single habitat type: the transition zone between lower- and mid-montane dipterocarp forests (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). Near the type locality, extensive slash-and-burn shifting agriculture and selective logging is taking place throughout mid-montane elevations on Mount Malinao (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). In 2001, the type locality was barely 100m above some of the most severe disturbances on the eastern face of Mount Malinao, and it is feared that continued degradation of the forest edge at this site will soon extend upwards to the type locality (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). Because this area also supplies the majority of freshwater to the municipality of Tiwi, continued and unchecked exploitation of this fragile transition zone habitat will threaten not only the continued existence of Platymantis diesmosi, but also the future availability of freshwater for humans in the Tiwi watershed (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007). In addition to agricultural expansion, extensive timber poaching is taking place within the forest.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The forest on Mount Malinao is not formally protected, butis owned by a private geothermal company, which protects it to a certain extent by keeping out squatters. However, conservation initiatives aimed at protecting habitat of this species are urgently needed, and could also guarantee the future supply of clean water for the human populations surrounding the southern and eastern foothills of Mount Malinao (Brown and Gonzalez, 2007).

Citation: Rafe Brown 2008. Platymantis diesmosi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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