Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Sooglossidae

Scientific Name: Sechellophryne gardineri
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1911)
Common Name(s):
English Gardiner's Seychelles Frog
Leptosooglossus gardineri (Boulenger, 1911)
Nectophryne gardineri Boulenger, 1911
Sooglossus gardineri (Boulenger, 1911)
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: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-04-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,
Reviewer(s): Catenazzi, A.
Contributor(s): Gerlach, J. & Nussbaum, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Endangered given that its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 116-120 km2, its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 33 km2, it is known from three threat-defined locations, its population is considered to be severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, its area of occupancy and quality of its habitat due to projected changes in rainfall patterns in the Seychelles and the loss of suitable habitat to invasive plants.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Rare (R)
1990 Rare (R)
1988 Rare (R)
1986 Indeterminate (I)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on Mahé and Silhouette islands in the Seychelles, from 150-991 m asl (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 116-120 km2, while its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 33 km2 based on area polygons for occupied habitat for each mapped subpopulation (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). There are five known subpopulations (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012), which are herein aggregated into three threat-defined locations: one location in Silhouette comprising one subpopulation, and two locations in Mahé comprising four subpopulations; of these two locations one is comprised of higher elevations (two subpopulations) and the second one of lower elevations (two subpopulations) (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 32.9
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 116
Lower elevation limit (metres): 150
Upper elevation limit (metres): 991
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is common at many sites in both disturbed and relatively undisturbed rainforest, occurring at densities of up to 2,000 animals per hectare in the best habitat. Population monitoring from 1994-2010 recorded declines in population density in lower altitude sites of over 67% over 16 years, while high altitude sites retained stable populations over this time (Gerlach 2011; J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). These low altitude population declines have been associated with changes in rainfall patterns, which are in turn attributed to climate change (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Furthermore, the projected effects of climate change suggest significant future population declines for all Seychelles Sooglossid frogs (Gerlach 2011). The global population is considered to be severely fragmented i.e., it occurs in fragmented habitat patches, the species has poor dispersal ability, such that it is not possible for animals to move between fragments, and it is believed that 50% or more of its individuals occur in isolated and fragmented habitat patches (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives both on the ground in forest leaf litter and on low vegetation in leaf axils, in disturbed and undisturbed rainforest. It also occurs in degraded primary forest areas dominated by introduced trees such as cinnamon. It is rarely recorded in areas of secondary forest and the edges of highly degraded forests. It breeds by direct development, the eggs being laid on the ground, with clutch size ranges from 8-16 eggs (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).
Systems: Terrestrial
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 threats are considered to be climate change and habitat degradation. Habitats are deteriorating mainly due to the increased frequency of fires and invasive species (principally the tree Cinnamomum verum), but this frog is somewhat adaptable to secondary habitats (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Logging and small-scale agriculture are too localized to have a significant impact on this species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Cinnamon was established in plantations on Mahé in the 18-19th centuries  (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). While this species has been identified as being more tolerant of dry conditions relative to other Sooglossid frogs, climate change is projected to lead to a 10% decline in area of occupancy  within ten years, and a range contraction of 60% by 2100 for Seychelles Sooglossid frogs (Gerlach 2011; J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park, and in the site of a conservation project on Silhouette. There is a need for close monitoring of the population status of this species; this was initiated in 1996 but was forcibly terminated in 2011 (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). Captive colonies have been successfully maintained, although successful captive breeding has yet to be recorded for this species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012). The development of captive breeding techniques is recommended for this species, as well as improved habitat management to minimize the impact of invasive species (J. Gerlach pers. comm. March 2012).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Marginal  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Past, Likely to Return    
→ 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    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Cinnamomum verum)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Gerlach, J. 2011. The potential effects of climate change on the status of Seychelles frogs (Anura: Sooglossidae). Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(11): 2153-2166.

Gerlach, J. and Willi, J. 2002. A new species of frog, genus Sooglossus (Anura, Sooglossidae) from Silhouette Island, Seychelles. Amphibia-Reptilia 23: 445-458.

Green, D.M., Nussbaum, R.A. and Datong, Y. 1988. Genetic divergence and heterozygosity among frogs of the family Sooglossidae. Herpetologica 44: 113-119.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Nussbaum, R.A. 1984. Amphibians of the Seychelles. In: D.R. Stoddart (ed.), Biogeography and Ecology in the Seychelles Islands, pp. 379-415. Dr. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague.

Nussbaum, R.A., Jaslow, A. and Watson, J. 1982. Vocalization in frogs of the family Sooglossidae. Journal of Herpetology 16: 198-204.

van der Meijden, A., Boistel, R., Gerlach, J., Ohler, A., Vences, M. and Meyer, A. 2007. Molecular phylogenetic evidence for paraphyly of the genus Sooglossus, with the description of a new genus of Seychellean frogs. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 91: 347-359.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group,. 2013. Sechellophryne gardineri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T20380A15181011. . Downloaded on 07 October 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