Pseudophilautus poppiae 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Rhacophoridae

Scientific Name: Pseudophilautus poppiae
Species Authority: (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005)
Philautus poppiae Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-20
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A.
Contributor(s): Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Meegaskumbura, M. & Pethiyagoda, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Nowakowski , J.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are both estimated to be 12 km2, it is considered to occur in only two threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its forest habitat in southwestern Sri Lanka.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Endangered (EN)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from two threat-defined locations in Sri Lanka: the type locality, Handapan Ella Plains (near Suriyakanda) at 1,270 m asl; and Morningside Forest Reserve, near Rakwana at 1,060 m asl, 10 km from the type locality (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). The species is threatened by habitat loss, which differs in intensity between these two sites. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 12 km2 which is also taken as a proxy for area of occupancy (AOO) on the basis that the species is a habitat specialist and confined to forest-associated habitat within an unsuitable land-use matrix.   

Countries occurrence:
Sri Lanka
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:12
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):1060
Upper elevation limit (metres):1270
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is considered to be relatively uncommon. However, a recent survey produced observations of 20 individuals over a three-hour period (M. Meegaskumbura pers. comm. 2014). There are no data to indicate population declines.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is an arboreal species found only in closed-canopy cloud forest of the Rakwana Mountains in sub-canopy forest and shrubs. It can also be found in areas with cardamom as the understorey. Males are usually seen calling from their perches on leaves around one to three metres above the ground. They are dependent on environments with high relative humidity for reproduction and are seen in higher densities in marshy habitats. It is presumed to be a direct developer like other species of the genus. Its dependence on high humidity makes it particularly vulnerable to any modification of the habitat resulting in the opening up of the forest canopy.
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):

It is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural encroachment (especially for tea and cardamom cultivation), fires, illegal gemstone mining and logging, and human settlement (Surasinghe and Jayaratne 2006). It is also at risk from drought and agrochemical pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Neither Morningside Forest nor Handapan Ella Plains is legally protected, although since 1989 Morningside has enjoyed "administrative protection" as a result of government policy (Janzen and Bopage 2011, R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). While the government has purchased much of the land around Morningside, there is still pressure from land use within the area; a tea/cardamom plantation operates at the centre of the reserve and there is illegal clearing of understory to establish small parcels for cardamom cultivation (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). There is need for improved protection of the area and incorporation of Morningside into the contiguous Sinharaja World Heritage Site would help prevent future loss of remaining forest habitat (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). Research is needed to better understand its life history, population status and current threats.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing: Ongoing    

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Ongoing    

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2014).

Janzen, P., and Bopage, M. 2011. The herpetofauna of a small and unprotected patch of tropical rainforest in Morningside, Sri Lanka. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2): 1-13.

Meegaskumbura, M. and Manamendra-Arachchi, K. 2005. Description of eight new species of shrub-frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) from Sri Lanka. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement: 305-338.

Surasinghe, T. D., and Jayaratne, R. L. 2006. Diversity, threats and conservation of herpetofauna in and around the Eastern Sinharaja. Sabaragamuwa University Journal 6(1): 3-12.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Pseudophilautus poppiae. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T61887A60795503. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided