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Sechellophryne gardineri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA SOOGLOSSIDAE

Scientific Name: Sechellophryne gardineri
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1911)
Common Name(s):
English Gardiner's Seychelles Frog
Synonym(s):
Leptosooglossus gardineri (Boulenger, 1911)
Nectophryne gardineri Boulenger, 1911
Sooglossus gardineri (Boulenger, 1911)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-04-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,
Reviewer(s): Catenazzi, A.
Contributor(s): Gerlach, J. & Nussbaum, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Justification:
Listed as Endangered given that its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 116-120 km2, its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 33 km2, it is known from three threat-defined locations, its population is considered to be severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, its area of occupancy and quality of its habitat due to projected changes in rainfall patterns in the Seychelles and the loss of suitable habitat to invasive plants.
History:
2004 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on Mahé and Silhouette islands in the Seychelles, from 150-991 m asl (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 116-120 km2, while its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 33 km2 based on area polygons for occupied habitat for each mapped subpopulation (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). There are five known subpopulations (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012), which are herein aggregated into three threat-defined locations: one location in Silhouette comprising one subpopulation, and two locations in Mahé comprising four subpopulations; of these two locations one is comprised of higher elevations (two subpopulations) and the second one of lower elevations (two subpopulations) (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Countries:
Native:
Seychelles
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is common at many sites in both disturbed and relatively undisturbed rainforest, occurring at densities of up to 2,000 animals per hectare in the best habitat. Population monitoring from 1994-2010 recorded declines in population density in lower altitude sites of over 67% over 16 years, while high altitude sites retained stable populations over this time (Gerlach 2011; J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). These low altitude population declines have been associated with changes in rainfall patterns, which are in turn attributed to climate change (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Furthermore, the projected effects of climate change suggest significant future population declines for all Seychelles Sooglossid frogs (Gerlach 2011). The global population is considered to be severely fragmented i.e., it occurs in fragmented habitat patches, the species has poor dispersal ability, such that it is not possible for animals to move between fragments, and it is believed that 50% or more of its individuals occur in isolated and fragmented habitat patches (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives both on the ground in forest leaf litter and on low vegetation in leaf axils, in disturbed and undisturbed rainforest. It also occurs in degraded primary forest areas dominated by introduced trees such as cinnamon. It is rarely recorded in areas of secondary forest and the edges of highly degraded forests. It breeds by direct development, the eggs being laid on the ground, with clutch size ranges from 8-16 eggs (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are considered to be climate change and habitat degradation. Habitats are deteriorating mainly due to the increased frequency of fires and invasive species (principally the tree Cinnamomum verum), but this frog is somewhat adaptable to secondary habitats (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Logging and small-scale agriculture are too localized to have a significant impact on this species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Cinnamon was established in plantations on Mahé in the 18-19th centuries  (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). While this species has been identified as being more tolerant of dry conditions relative to other Sooglossid frogs, climate change is projected to lead to a 10% decline in area of occupancy  within ten years, and a range contraction of 60% by 2100 for Seychelles Sooglossid frogs (Gerlach 2011; J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park, and in the site of a conservation project on Silhouette. There is a need for close monitoring of the population status of this species; this was initiated in 1996 but was forcibly terminated in 2011 (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Captive colonies have been successfully maintained, although successful captive breeding has yet to be recorded for this species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). The development of captive breeding techniques is recommended for this species, as well as improved habitat management to minimize the impact of invasive species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).



Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2013. Sechellophryne gardineri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 December 2014.
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