Sylvacaecilia grandisonae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Gymnophiona Indotyphlidae

Scientific Name: Sylvacaecilia grandisonae (Taylor, 1970)
Common Name(s):
English Aleku Caecilian, Ethiopian Caecilian
Geotrypetes grandisonae Taylor, 1970
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Gower, D.J., Largen, M.J., Wilkinson, M. & Loader, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Luedtke, J.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is thought to be endemic to southwestern Ethiopia where it is known from four sites in the regions of Gambella, Oromia, and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, spanning an altitudinal range of approximately 1,500-2,200 m asl (Largen et al. 1972). The limits of its range are unknown and it is uncertain whether the species occurs more widely, but this is possible given its altitudinal range and the available forest habitat in southwestern and western Ethiopia. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 31,341 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Verified reports of this species in the scientific literature are based on 32 specimens collected between 1967-1971 (Largen et al. 1972). The area was not surveyed for caecilians for nearly forty years until 2006. No specimens were found during at least 10 days of searching for this species at historical localities between 2006-2011 (S. Loader and D. Gower pers. comm. December 2015), but specimens from two new localities (Bonga and Bedelle) were reported on the Internet (
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known only from tropical deciduous forest where adults live in soil or mud and beneath leaf-litter; its larvae have been found in very wet mud at the edge of a stream (Largen et al. 1972). All other caecilians that have larvae lay eggs, but none have been reported for this species.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known major threats to African caecilian species, but assuming that soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation is important for the species there are possible threats from human activity within the species' range. These threats are similar to those in other parts of western Ethiopia and include ongoing habitat disturbance and conversion caused by forest clearance, expanding human settlement, and small and large-scale agricultural encroachment (including the application of agricultural herbicides and pesticides), but it is not known to what extent these activities threaten this species (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It is found in the UNESCO-MAB Kafa Biosphere Reserve, but is not currently known from any other protected areas.

Conservation Needed

Additional protection of remaining montane forest habitats from subsistence exploitation is required.

Research Needed
Further research is needed on its population status and trends, life history and ecology, the effect of ongoing threats on the species, and necessary conservation actions.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Sylvacaecilia grandisonae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59598A16944802. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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