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Grandisonia brevis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA GYMNOPHIONA INDOTYPHLIDAE

Scientific Name: Grandisonia brevis
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1909)
Common Name/s:
English Mahe Caecilian
Synonym/s:
Hypogeophis brevis Boulenger, 1911

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-12-11
Assessor/s: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,
Reviewer/s: Angulo, A.
Contributor/s: Gerlach, J. & Nussbaum, R.
Facilitator/s: Luedtke, J.
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 15 km2, with all individuals known from only two threat-defined locations, and the extent and quality of its habitat on Mahé and Silhouette Islands is continuously declining.
History:
2004 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species from the Seychelles occurs in a few scattered localities on Mahé Island, where it seems to be restricted to higher elevations (above 400 m asl). There are also records from Silhouette Island, which have not been confirmed from specimens; however, despite some doubts, it is highly probable that the species occurs here (J. Gerlach pers. comm. November 2012). Altogether it seems to be limited to two threat-defined locations, one on each island. Using its range as a proxy, its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 15 km2.
Countries:
Native:
Seychelles
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It appears to be uncommon and is only rarely collected during surveys. It was last recorded on Mahé Island in 1991, but has not been searched for or encountered there since; unconfirmed records of the species on Silhouette Island date from surveys in 1990 and 2000, but the species has not been searched for or encountered there since (J. Gerlach pers. comm. November 2012).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives in rainforest, where it burrows in moist soil and leaf-litter. It does not appears to tolerate habitat disturbance, as it is not encountered in highly disturbed sites. It probably breeds by larval development in streams and pools, but this has not been confirmed.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Assuming that soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation is important for the species, deforestation is considered a past threat and possible current threats include habitat degradation, primarily caused by accidental fires and invasive plant species. One such plant species is Cinnamomum verum, which was introduced in commercial plantations and is now widespread, modifying habitat by dominating forests, changing soil and leaf litter chemistry, thus resulting in poor soil fauna (J. Gerlach pers. comm. November 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: While the species is known from protected areas, these are not effectively managed. It occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé Island and the Silhouette National Park on Silhouette Island. The Silhouette National Park is currently unmanaged because the Silhouette Conservation Project previously run there by Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles was closed down in 2010; its purpose was research and conservation of all non-marine biodiversity, including research on caecilians and a conservation focus on controlling invasive species and restoring habitats; all such action has currently ceased (J. Gerlach pers. comm. November 2012).

Generally speaking, in the Seychelles, invasive species management is urgently needed; conservation education and awareness training and communications for the general public are suggested; compliance and enforcement of laws protecting these areas are needed on the national level (J. Gerlach pers. comm. November 2012). Further research is needed on the species population status, natural history and threats.
Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2013. Grandisonia brevis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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