Rhacophorus feae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Rhacophoridae

Scientific Name: Rhacophorus feae Boulenger, 1893
Common Name(s):
English Thao Whipping Frog
Polypedates feae (Boulenger, 1893)
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-03-24
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J. & Hobin, L.
Contributor(s): Rowley, J.L., Swan, S. & Cutajar, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rowley, J.L. & Cutajar, T.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This relatively widespread species is known from approximately 600–2,000 m Asl in Myanmar (Boulenger 1983, Orlov et al. 2002), through northern Thailand (Chan-ard et al. 1999, Chan-ard 2003), northern Lao PDR (Stuart 2005), southern and central China (Orlov et al. 2002, Fei et al. 2012), and into much of Viet Nam (Orlov et al. 2002, Nguyen et al. 2009, Luu et al. 2014). These may not represent the actual limits of the species' distribution as similar habitat and elevations to those at its known localities occur in adjacent areas of northeastern India, southern Laos and eastern Cambodia. Further surveys in these areas may uncover the species' presence, therefore its range has been projected beyond known sites to include these areas of suitable habitat.
Countries occurrence:
China; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Number of Locations:14
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known about the size and trends of this species' population except that it has been detected in a number of surveys (Boulenger 1983, Chan-ard et al. 1999, Orlov et al. 2002, Chan-ard 2003, Stuart 2005, Nguyen et al. 2009, Fei et al. 2012, Luu et al. 2014) and described as extremely abundant at Sa Pa, northern Viet Nam, in the early 1940's (Bourret 1942) and abundant in parts of north and central Viet Nam (J. Rowley unpubl. data). It is likely that ongoing forest loss associated with expanding agriculture throughout Southeast Asia (Sodhi et al. 2009) is causing some population declines. There are captive populations of the species at Leningrad Zoo, Russia (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011), and among private keepers (Timothy Cutajar pers. obs. March 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This arboreal species occurs mostly in evergreen forest and is associated with water bodies from stagnant pools to flowing streams (Bourret 1942, Orlov et al. 2002, Stuart 2005, Luu et al. 2014, J. Rowley unpubl. data). It has also been observed in anthropogenically modified environments (Bourret 1942). Reproduction has been observed in May and June in Viet Nam, and July in Thailand (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011). Males call from rock surfaces, branches and leaves overhanging deep and slow stream sections, pools and ponds (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011) or from high in the trees (J. Rowley pers. comm. December 2015). Eggs are deposited in foam nests above the water, to which the larvae fall upon hatching to continue their development (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011).
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: This species is collected by local people for use as a food source (S. Swan pers. comm. date unknown). It is also in the international pet trade due to its attractive form and colouration; an online search in December 2015 revealed websites selling this species for approximately US $120 per individual (T. Cutajar pers. obs.). The species is also kept and bred in some zoos (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and degradation due to rapidly expanding agriculture is an ongoing threat to biodiversity throughout Southeast Asia (Sodhi et al. 2009), and recent satellite imagery reveals that large areas of land throughout this species' predicted range are now cleared for agriculture. The species is very likely threatened to some degree by habitat loss. Other threats to the species' habitat include human encroachment due to urbanization and tourism, both of which are ongoing and expected to affect populations particularly in northern Viet Nam (Bourret 1942, Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011). Harvest rates of the species for use as food are described as having been historically quite high, and collection for food continues but at unknown rates (S. Swan pers. comm. date unknown). Despite this species having been successfully bred in captivity (Bagaturova and Bagaturov 2011), it may also be threatened by collection from the wild to meet demand, as is the case for similarly attractive frog species from the region (Rowley et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is known from a number of protected areas throughout its range including Hoang Lien National Park and Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Viet Nam (Orlov et al. 2001), and Phou Dendin National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos (Stuart 2005). A large number of other protected areas are included in parts of this species' predicted range; it very likely occurs in many of these also. The species has been listed nationally as Near Threatened and Endangered in Thailand and Viet Nam, respectively (Nabhitabhata and Chan-ard 2005, Phan 2007).

Research Needed
In order to ensure the species' long-term survival, the lack of data must be addressed; research should be carried out to determine its true distribution, relative abundance, rates of harvest, and threats.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Rhacophorus feae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58948A63881984. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
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