Megophrys ligayae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Megophryidae

Scientific Name: Megophrys ligayae (Taylor, 1920)
Common Name(s):
English Palawan Horned 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:
Taxonomic Notes: This species was removed from the synonymy of Megophrys montana by Iskandar (1998), where it had been placed by Inger (1954).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-05-02
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hobin, L.
Contributor(s): Mallari, A., Alcala, A., Diesmos, A.C., Gutierrez, B., Supsup, C., Balete, D.S., Ubaldo, D., Rico, E.L., Sy, E., Gee, G., Hampson, K., Afuang, L.E., Diesmos, M., Realubit, N., Ong, P., Brown, R. & Lagat, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Luedtke, J., Neam, K.
Listed as Near Threatened because, although its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 25,169 km2, there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and it probably occurs in less than 10 locations, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion B.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was previously known to occur on Balabac and Palawan Islands, in the western Philippines, however it is now also known from Dumaran Island (Schoppe and Cervancia 2009). Additional records have expanded its known range on Palawan Island from El Nido to Culasian Managed Resource Protected Area (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). It is found from sea level up to 1,400 m asl (Diesmos et al. 2014) and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 25,169 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:3
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is locally common (Schoppe and Cervancia 2009) and surveys in 2014 were able to locate the species in suitable habitat (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits the forest floor litter of montane and lowland rainforests. It has also been found in secondary growth habitats. Eggs are laid in shallow, slow flowing streams; larvae are suspension feeders and develop in clear, quiet side pools near streams.
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 the species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is the destruction and conversion of both lowland and montane rainforest habitat due to small-scale agricultural activities, large-scale oil palm plantations, wood collection for charcoal making, expanding human settlements due to high levels of immigration, nickel and chromite mining, and limestone, sand and gravel quarrying (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). In addition, the quality of its stream habitat is subject to pollution due to agricultural effluents, soil erosion, and mine-tailings. In particular, the lowland forest at Binaluan, Taytay Municipality is being destroyed by logging and agriculture (Schoppe and Cervancia 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is present in several protected areas, including the newly declared (2016) Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, which protects more than 100,000 acres of forest on Palawan. The species has also been recorded from Culasian Managed Resource Protected Area, in Rizal, the El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area, and the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape.

The Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan for areas was put into place by the national government in 1992, which aims to divide the island into a network of environmentally critical areas above 1,000 m asl (ECAN - Environmentally Critical Areas Network). The plan is operationalized on a local level by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development. The map of these areas is currently being updated to include lowland areas below 1,000 m asl.
The Global Conservation Fund established a $1 million endowment fund for the Mount Mantalingahan range--within which the species is known to occur. The funds are held by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation and are used to protect remaining forest on the mountain (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017).

Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation is also managing about $30 million in funds from debt payments due to the US government, which are instead allocated for spending during 2016-2026 towards forest protection in three priority areas: Palawan Island, the Sierra Madre on Luzon Island, and eastern Mindanao Island.

Conservation Needed
Despite being present in several protected areas, the species is still threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Therefore, required conservation measures include the regulation and proper disposal of pesticides and herbicides, and the effective protection of remaining rainforest, especially riverine habitats and gallery forests. In addition, improved enforcement of the SEP is needed as it has had limited success due to challenges in implementation.

Research Needed
More information is needed to improve the understanding of the species' population size, distribution, and trends.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Megophrys ligayae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57580A58477535. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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