Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ceratobatrachidae

Scientific Name: Cornufer vitianus
Species Authority: (Duméril, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Fiji Ground Frog
Platymantis vitiana (Duméril, 1853)
Platymantis vitiana (Dumeril, 1853)
Platymantis vitianus (Duméril, 1853)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): George Zug, Dick Watling, Clare Morrison
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals in Fiji.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)
1990 Insufficiently Known (K)
1988 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species once occurred widely in Fiji, but is now restricted to the mongoose-free islands of Ovalau, Gau, Taveuni, and Viwa. It used to occur on the two large islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and on Bequa, but it is now extinct there. The last, unconfirmed, record from Vanua Levu was from the 1960s, when it was reported as part of the diet of mongooses in the Nadarivatu (Monosavu) area.
Countries occurrence:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It occurs widely, but in small numbers, on Ovalau, Viwa, and Gau, and is fairly common on Taveuni.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Although presumably originally a forest species, it is also found in anthropogenic habitats, including degraded forest, rural gardens, plantations, and even close to the beach. It is terrestrial and breeds by direct development, although the eggs are very hard to find.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Introduced mongooses, released in 1883, caused a major decline, much of this having taken place by the early 20th century. It now survives only on mongoose-free islands. Mongooses are the only predators known to wipe the species out completely. It might also be impacted by introduced Rattus praetor and Rattus exulans, which arrived in Fiji some 2,500-3,000 years ago, as well as by Bufo marinus and introduced cats, but it is known to co-exist with all of these (on the small island of Viwa it has co-existed with B. marinus for over 30 years).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The most important conservation measure is the prevention of the spread of mongooses to islands where the species still survives. It occurs in the Ravilevu Nature Reserve and Bouma Natural Heritage Park, both on Taveuni, but neither of these actively protects wildlife.

Citation: George Zug, Dick Watling, Clare Morrison. 2004. Cornufer vitianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T17518A7118149. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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