Cophyla alticola 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Microhylidae

Scientific Name: Cophyla alticola
Species Authority: (Guibé, 1974)
Common Name(s):
English Madagascar Giant Treefrog
Platyhyla alticola Guibé, 1974
Platypelis alticola (Guibé, 1974)
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: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-11-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Raxworthy, C.J., Scherz, D. & Nussbaum, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L. & Best, S.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,902 km2, it occurs 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 with certainty only from Tsaratanana at 1,548-2,600m asl in northern Madagascar. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,902 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1548
Upper elevation limit (metres):2600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a rare species. Due to ongoing declines 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:It lives in high-elevation rainforest and bamboo forest, and has been seen in bamboo segments with holes. Numerous specimens have also been seen on the ground in the grass of a campsite (Rakotoarison et al. 2012).  Its breeding is unknown, but presumably takes place by larval development in water-filled bamboo stems.
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): The major threat is habitat loss due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, spread of invasive eucalyptus, livestock grazing, and expanding human settlements. It is potentially susceptible to dry season fires.

Species in this genus have tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), however currently there have been no negative effects observed within amphibian populations in Madagascar suggesting the Bd strain has a low virulence level (Bletz et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve.

Conservation Needed
Habitat protection is required for the corridor between Tsaratanana and Marojejy.

Research Needed
Research is required on population size and distribution including trends, ecology, and threats. Further research is essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015).

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Cophyla alticola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57954A84179073. . Downloaded on 23 October 2016.
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