Cophyla tsaratananaensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Microhylidae

Scientific Name: Cophyla tsaratananaensis (Guibé, 1974)
Common Name(s):
English Tsaratanana Giant Treefrog
Platypelis tsaratanaensis Guibé, 1974
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: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-14
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Raxworthy, C.J., Andreone, F. & Scherz, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L. & Best, S.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 2,050 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was previously known from only three specimens collected in 1949 at 2,600 m asl on the Tsaratanana massif in northern Madagascar, close to the summit, Maromokotro, which is at 2,876 m asl. This species has been confirmed from two further localities: Bemanevika (Bemanevika New Protected Area) and Andrevorevo (COMATSA proposed protected area), between 1,100-2,600 m asl (Rakotoarison et al. 2012). Its distribution seems to be patchy, as it was not recorded in a 2015/16 survey on a forest between Tsaratanana and Bemanevika (Ampotsidy, near Beandrarezona; Scherz et al. unpubl. data), but it is probably restricted to altitudes above 1,100 m asl (M.D. Scherz pers.comm. April 2016). The  extent of occurrence (EOO) of its current known range is 2,050 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1-4
Lower elevation limit (metres):1100
Upper elevation limit (metres):2600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is found in high densities in bamboo forest with relatively large plants (Rakotoarison et al. 2012). However 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 inhabits tall montane rainforest and bamboo, and is probably not found outside mature forest. It is found almost exclusively found on bamboo, and may benefit from the presence of the nocturnal lemur Daubentonia madagascariensis  for the creation of holes in the bamboo (Rakotoarison et al. 2012). It breeds in bamboo stems by larval development (Rakotoarison et al. 2012).
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 and, as it is a mountain-top species, it might also be at risk from global warming.

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 in Place
It occurs in Bemanevika New Protected Area, Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve, and COMATSA proposed protected area.

Conservation Needed
Habitat protection is required for the Marojejy-Tsaratanana Corridor.

Research Needed
Research on population and trends, life history and ecology, and threats is required for this species. Further research is also 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 tsaratananaensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57963A84180091. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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