Barbourula busuangensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bombinatoridae

Scientific Name: Barbourula busuangensis Taylor & Noble, 1924
Common Name(s):
English Busuanga Jungle Toad , Palawan Flat-headed Frog, Philippine Flat-headed Frog
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2017. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Arvin Diesmos, Angel Alcala, Rafe Brown, Leticia Afuang, Genevieve Gee, Katie Hampson, Mae Leonida Diesmos, Aldrin Mallari, Perry Ong, Dondi Ubaldo, Baldwin Gutierrez
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs on the islands of Busuanga, Culion, and Palawan, all in the western Philippines. It probably occurs more widely than current records suggest, especially in areas between known sites on Palawan. It is a lowland species occurring up to 300m asl, perhaps up to 500m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It commonly occurs in large numbers where known, though the overall distribution is patchy and fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This aquatic species inhabits clear, unpolluted swift-flowing mountain streams and rivers in lowland rainforests, where it usually floats near the surface of the water unless disturbed, when it will hide under submerged rocks. The breeding strategy of this species remains unknown. Tadpoles have never been observed, and eggs collected from gravid females were large, unpigmented, and few in number (Inger 1954), suggesting that it could possibly reproduce by direct development (Brown and Alcala 1983). However to date breeding habits have not yet been observed. It has not been found in open habitats outside forest.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The lowland rainforest habitat of this species is generally protected on the island of Palawan. However, some populations are threatened by habitat conversion, shifting agriculture, quarrying, large-scale mining, and pollution of streams and rivers from agricultural effluents. The collection of frogs for the pet trade (including internationally) is also a possible threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is a need for remaining intact lowland rainforest of Palawan to be designated as protected areas. Further research is needed to establish the levels of offtake of this species from the wild for the international pet trade; if proved to be a significant threat, then this species could also warrant listing by CITES.

Citation: Arvin Diesmos, Angel Alcala, Rafe Brown, Leticia Afuang, Genevieve Gee, Katie Hampson, Mae Leonida Diesmos, Aldrin Mallari, Perry Ong, Dondi Ubaldo, Baldwin Gutierrez. 2004. Barbourula busuangensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T23900A9436177. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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