Balebreviceps hillmani 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Brevicipitidae

Scientific Name: Balebreviceps hillmani Largen & Drewes, 1989
Common Name(s):
English Bale Mountains Treefrog, Ethiopian Short-headed Frog
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: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-06-02
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Mengistu, A.A., Gower, D.J., Gebresenbet, F.G., Largen, M.J., Drewes, R. & Loader, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are estimated to be approximately 5 km2, all individuals are considered to occur in one threat-defined location, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Bale Mountains and in the number of mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Harenna in the Bale Mountains, east of the Rift Valley, in Ethiopia, where it has been found at 2,815-3,200 m asl (Gower et al. 2012). Taking its range as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), it is estimated to be approximately 5 km², which can also be considered an upper estimate for area of occupancy (AOO). It may occur slightly more widely across the Harenna escarpment (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comms. June 2012). It is known from one threat-defined location (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comms. June 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4.899
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2815
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It seemed to be reasonably numerous at the type locality when it was discovered in 1986 and subsequently in the 1990s; however, dedicated surveys from 2006 to 2011 have found evidence of population decline (Gower et al. 2013). There is no indication of severe fragmentation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known only from giant heath (Erica arborea) woodland, just below the timberline and some partly cleared mixed forest below this, in the Rira Basin (Gower et al. 2013). All individuals have been found by day from beneath logs, boulders and compost (D. Gower pers. comm. June 2012). Its breeding behaviour is unknown, but females have been found to contain large and unpigmented ova, which is probably indicative of either direct development or at least of a terrestrial nest (Largen and Drewes 1989), as in other members of this family.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main observed ongoing threat is human-induced habitat deterioration through cattle grazing and deforestation from firewood collection, fencing and settlement development (Gower et al. 2013). Chytrid fungus occurs in high prevalence in amphibians in highland Ethiopia and has been detected on this species, although its impact is not known (Gower et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species' entire range lies within the Bale Mountains National Park (Gower et al. 2013), although this protected area is not formally gazetted. There is a long-running conservation programme in the Bale Mountains National Park (Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and Frankfurt Zoological Society; Frankfurt Zoological Society 2007), but there is a lack of amphibian-specific activities and there is increasing encroachment within the Park, so improved park management is needed (Frankfurt Zoological Society 2007, Gower et al. 2013). Additional actions needed include the protection of remaining montane forest habitats from subsistence exploitation. More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and the potential effects of chytrid fungus on its population. In addition, population monitoring is needed in view of recent declines.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2013. Balebreviceps hillmani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T57703A16948437. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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