Xenopus itombwensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Pipidae

Scientific Name: Xenopus itombwensis
Species Authority: Evans, Carter, Tobias, Kelley, Hanner & Tinsley, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Itombwe Massif Clawed Frog
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 March 2016). New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This new species is considered to be the sister taxon of Xenopus wittei (Evans et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-03-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Crnobrnja-Isailovic, J. & Martins, M.
Contributor(s): Angulo, A., Evans, B., Greenbaum, E., Tognelli, M. & Jarosińska, P.

Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 km² (it is estimated to be 37.85 km²), all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Itombwe Massif.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from high altitude portions of the Itombwe Plateau, Itombwe Massif, South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, between 1,800 and 2,200 m asl (Evans et al. 2008, B. Evans and E. Greenbaum pers. comm. March 2010). This species does not occur in other parts of the Albertine Rift other than the Itombwe plateau (B. Evans pers. comm. July 2010). It is estimated to occur in an area about 37.85 km².
Countries occurrence:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is locally abundant (Evans et al. 2008). It was last surveyed and seen in 2008 (E. Greenbaum pers. comm. March 2010).

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species was observed in standing water associated with mineral extraction in a region that was surrounded by mature forest and mixed use agricultural areas (Evans et al. 2008). It is thought that the species subsists in spite of the extraction, and not because if its disturbance (B. Evans pers. comm. July 2010). It is presumed to breed in standing water.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Some species of clawed frog are consumed for human food in West Africa, although there is no information regarding the people on the Itombwe Plateau consuming this species (B. Evans pers. comm. March 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Human activities such as mining, hunting, agriculture, logging and overgrazing by livestock have a major impact on the local biodiversity of the Itombwe Massif (Omari et al. 1999 in Evans et al. 2008). Mining is widespread and has a major impact; agriculture (corn, beans, etc.) is also very common and contributes to extensive habitat fragmentation, and goats are common on the plateau (B. Evans pers. comm. March 2010). A recent (2009) survey on the plateau revealed that the impacts of deforestation and mining activities are devastating (E. Greenbaum pers. comm. July 2010), and an increase in water turbidity due to mineral extraction was observed in a separate field trip (B. Evans pers. comm. July 2010). In addition, there are indications (i.e., snares) that there is bush meat hunting in the area (B. Evans pers. comm. March 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Itombwe Plateau now has a protected status at the federal level; however, it is not a national park and the status needs practical implementation (B. Evans pers. comm. March 2010). More research is needed on this species' population status and natural history.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2010. Xenopus itombwensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T175544A7139125. . Downloaded on 18 August 2017.
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