Mertensophryne usambarae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Mertensophryne usambarae (Poynton & Clarke, 1999)
Stephopaedes usambarae Poynton & Clarke, 1999
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-18
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Liedtke , C., Poynton, J., Howell, K. & Loader, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Luedtke, J. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 43 km2, all individuals occur in one threat-defined location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from three closely adjoining localities in the foothills of the East Usambara Mountains in northeastern Tanzania. All records (Kwamgumi FR, Mtai FR, and Segoma FR) have been from below 410m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 43 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Upper elevation limit (metres):410
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It appears relatively uncommon within its very small known range given the scarcity of individuals collected and survey effort: broad scale biodiversity surveys in East Usambaras found few individuals (12 in total) (Poynton and Clarke, 1998) and a survey in 2012 found 2 individuals from 3 days of intensive survey effort (S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015). Due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, its population is suspected to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a terrestrial species of lowland forest, but also has been recorded in mildly disturbed, selectively logged forest areas. Its breeding behaviour is unknown, but it might breed in puddles in tree roots like some congeners.
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 this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is ongoing loss of its habitat due to agricultural encroachment, wood extraction, and human settlement.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in the Kwamgumi, Segoma and Mtai Forest Reserves.

Conservation Needed
The forest reserves in which it occurs are not well protected and are in need of improved management.

Research Needed
Further information is required on the species distribution, population status and breeding strategy.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Mertensophryne usambarae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T54890A84397352. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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