Rhacophorus spelaeus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Rhacophoridae

Scientific Name: Rhacophorus spelaeus Orlov, Gnophanxay, Phimminith & Phomphoumy, 2010
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii); D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-13
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hobin, L.
Contributor(s): Stuart, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Cutajar, T., Rowley, J.L. & Samy, N
Listed as Vulnerable as this species has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of only 7,534 km2 and occurs in only two threat-defined locations. The species' range is very restricted and the quality of its habitat is in estimated to be in decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from 140 m asl within the Ban Doy Community and Ban Konglo, in and around the boundaries of Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Khammouane Province, Laos (Orlov et al. 2009). This species has highly specific habitat requirements (Orlov et al. 2009) so its range is restricted to this habitat type and is is not expected to be widespread throughout its mapped range. Its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 7,534 km2, which represents one threat-defined location. 
Countries occurrence:
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Additional data:
Number of Locations:2
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):140
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information is currently known on the population size, except that it was described from three individuals and that an unknown number of individuals were observed in the previous year (Orlov et al. 2009). This species' population is thought to be decreasing outside of well-protected areas.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is associated with limestone karst caves with running water in sparsely vegetated areas (Orlov et al. 2009). Little is known about the quality of the species' habitat, as habitat loss or disturbance has not been reported, but may be occurring in some areas due to limestone mining, grazing livestock and the collection of firewood (Clements et al. 2006, Woxvold 2009). The species' call and reproductive biology are also unknown, however it is expected to have a free-living aquatic larval stage, as do other Rhacophorus for which the reproductive strategy is known.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of use or trade for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss associated with intensifying agriculture is a major threat to biodiversity in the region (Sodhi et al. 2010), but this species is known from a protected area characterized by karst landscapes, so this may not be an immediate threat to its persistence. However, the species is also thought to occur outside this protected area so it may be affected by known threats to other limestone karst environments in southeast Asia such as habitat disturbance caused by limestone mining, grazing livestock and the collection of firewood (Clements et al. 2006, Woxvold 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is known from the Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area. 

Research Needed
Addressing the lack of data is the first step towards ensuring the species' survival; further research on its range, population size and abundance, and threats would inform conservation decisions.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Rhacophorus spelaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T48100899A48100903. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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