Ericabatrachus baleensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Pyxicephalidae

Scientific Name: Ericabatrachus baleensis Largen, 1991
Common Name(s):
English Bale Mountains 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(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-06-02
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.
Contributor(s): Gower, D.J., Gebresenbet, F.G., Largen, M.J. & Loader, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be under 1 km2, its area of occupancy (AOO) is likely even more restricted, it is considered to occur in one threat-defined location, and there is a continuing decline in its EOO, AOO, and the extent of its montane forest habitat in the Bale Mountains.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, at 2,400-3,200 m asl. It has so far been found only in three very circumscribed localities: Katcha, Fute and the type locality Tulla Negesso (S. Loader and D. Gower pers. comms. June 2012). Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated to be 0.96 km2 inclusive of the historical localities Katcha and Tulla Negesso. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be smaller than this based on the possible extirpation at two of the three sites (S. Loader and D. Gower pers. comms. June 2012). It is considered to occur in one threat-defined location based on livestock trampling and deforestation along the streams through which the species is found (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comms. June 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0.955Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:0.955
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2400
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It was numerous at the type locality in 1986 (Largen 1991) but has not been found here since, despite repeated dedicated surveys (Gower et al. 2013). A second locality (Katcha) yielded a single specimen in 1986, with no subsequent records despite multiple surveys (Gower et al. 2013). Since 1986 only three individuals have been sighted at a single locality (Fute; Gower et al. 2013).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known only from giant heath (Erica sp.) woodland and adjoining Schefflera-Hagenia forest, where it is found on the grassy banks of small, fast-flowing streams. The breeding behaviour is unknown, but female specimens contain large and unpigmented ova. The presence of such eggs is generally considered to be indicative of either direct development or at least a terrestrial nest (Largen 1991). If true in this case, the eggs are most likely to be deposited amongst herbaceous vegetation on the banks of small, swift-flowing streams, which is the habitat where fully mature females have been found (Largen 1991). It has disappeared from the type locality, in which the stream habitat has experienced substantial modification (Gower et al. 2013).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
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 threat is human-induced habitat deterioration through cattle grazing (particularly trampling of streams), deforestation for firewood 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 impact of chytrid fungus. In addition, population monitoring is needed in view of recent declines.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,. 2013. Ericabatrachus baleensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T58075A16953634. . Downloaded on 19 April 2018.
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