Trichobatrachus robustus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Arthroleptidae

Scientific Name: Trichobatrachus robustus Boulenger, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Hairy Frog
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 March 2016). New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-07-06
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Amiet, J.-L., Hirschfeld, M., Burger, M., Rödel , M.-O. & Gvozdik, V.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tarrant, J., Hobin, L.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and its presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from lowlands of the Osamba Hills in eastern Nigeria to the Mayombe Hills in extreme western Democratic Republic of Congo, with records from Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has also recently been recorded from the Serra do Pingano region of Angola (Ernst et al. 2014), which is the first country record for it. Its elevational range is between 26–1,458 m Asl (Ernst et al. 2014, M. Hirschfeld pers. comm. July 2016). It is presumed to occur in Congo and in the Cabinda Enclave of Angola.
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Cameroon; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Nigeria
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):26
Upper elevation limit (metres):1458
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is rare around Yaounde, but much more common in the west of its range in Cameroon. Due to its' use as a subsistence species and declines in water quality in some parts of its' range, the population is suspected to be locally decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It lives in fast-flowing rivers in lowland and mid-altitude rainforest, and in secondary forest and agricultural habitats, including tea plantations. The tadpoles live in fast, even torrential, water and at the foot of small waterfalls.
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 utilized locally for human consumption. In Rumpi Hills in Cameroon, the tadpoles rather than the adults are eaten. Dried individuals of this species are also often prepared as a special treat for children returning from schools for the Christmas holiday. Cameroonian traders collect this species for international trade to the USA and Japan (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm. July 2016).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is presumably decreasing because of declining water quality and, although adaptable to some degradation as it has been recorded in agricultural habitats, it will not tolerate the complete opening up of its habitat caused by loss and degradation from further agricultural activities, expanding human settlements and logging. It is subject to intense hunting pressure for food and international trade, and is often rare in the areas around villages. In the Rumpi Hills in Cameroon, local people also eat the tadpoles.

A retrospective study analysing amphibian population declines (between 2004–2012) confirms the emergence of Bd in 2008 on Mount Oku and in 2011 on Mount Manengouba, suggesting that chytridiomycosis has driven community level declines of anuran biodiversity in this hotspot area (Hirschfeld et al. 2016). This species tested positive for Bd (Hirschfeld et al. 2016), and chytridiomycosis could be a threat. Stresses such as habitat loss are suspected to make amphibian species more susceptible to declines caused by chytridiomycosis, so this species is considered to be at risk of declines caused by infection (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm. July 2016). Individuals of this species in Gabon (Bell et al. 2011) have tested negative for Bd.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species occurs in several protected areas including Monts de Cristal and Moukalaba-Doudou National Parks in Gabon (Burger et al. 2006, Pauwels and Rödel 2007).

Conservation Needed
Bd mitigation strategies, as well as increased habitat protection, is required to sustain diverse amphibian communities in areas such as Mount Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon’s amphibian diversity (Hirschfeld et al. 2016).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
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

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

Bibliography [top]

Amiet, J.-L. 1989. Quelques aspects de la biologie des Amphibiens Anoures du Cameroun. Année Biologique 28(2): 73-136.

Amiet, J.-L. 1991. Images d'Amphibiens camerounais. III. Le comportement de garde des oeufs. Alytes 9(1): 15-22.

Amiet, J.-L. and Perret, J.-L. 1969. Contributions a la faune de la region de Yaounde (Cameroun). II - Amphibiens Anoures. Annales de la Faculté des Sciences du Cameroun 3: 117-137.

Bell, R.C., Garcia, A.V.G., Stuart, B.L. and Zamudio, K.R. 2011. High Prevalence of the Amphibian Chytrid Pathogen in Gabon. EcoHealth 8(1): 116-120.

Burger, M., Branch, W.R. and Channing, A. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Monts Doudou, Gabon: species turnover along an elevational gradient. California Academy of Sciences Memoir 28: 145-186.

Burger, M., Pauwels, O.S.G., Branch, W.R., Tobi, E., Yoga, J.A. and Mikolo, E.-N. 2006. An Assessment of the Amphibian Fauna of the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas, Gabon. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington. 12: 297-307.

De la Riva, I. 1994. Anfibios anuros del Parque Nacional de Monte Alen, Rio Muni, Guinea Ecuatorial. Revista Espanola de Herpetologia 82: 123-139.

Ernst, R., Nienguesso, A.B.T., Lautenschläger, T., Barej, M.F., Schmitz, A. and Hölting, M. 2014. Relicts of a forested past: southernmost distribution of the hairy frog genus Trichobatrachus Boulenger, 1900 (Anura: Arthroleptidae) in the Serra do Pingano region of Angola with comments on its taxonomic status. Zootaxa 3779: 297-300.

Frétey, T. and Blanc, C.P. 2000. Liste des Amphibiens d'Afrique Centrale. ADIE, Libreville, Gabon.

Herrmann, H.-W., Böhme, W., Herrmann, P.A., Plath, M., Schmitz, A. and Solbach, M. 2005. African Biodiversity Hotspots: the amphibians of Mt. Nlonako, Cameroon. Salamandra 41(1/2): 61-81.

Hirschfeld, M., Blackburn, D.C., Doherty-Bone, T.M., Gonwouo, L.N., Ghose, S. and Rödel, M.-O. 2016. Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot. PLoS ONE 11(5).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-2. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2017).

Lasso, C.A., Rial, A.I., Castroviejo, J. and de la Riva, I. 2002. Herpetofauna del Parque Nacional de Monte Alen (Rio Muni, Guinea Ecuatorial). Graellsia 58: 21-34.

Lötters, S., Gossmann, V., Obame, F. and Böhme, W. 2001. Zur Herpetofauna Gabuns, Teil I: Einleitung, Untersuchungsgebiet und Methodik, kommentierte Artenliste der gefundenen Froschlurche. Herpetofauna 23(133): 19-34.

Pauwels, O.S.G. and Rödel, M.-O. 2007. Amphibians and National Parks in Gabon, western Central Africa. Herpetozoa 19(3/4): 135-148.

Perret, J.-L. 1966. Les Amphibiens du Cameroun. Zoologische Jahrbuecher fuer Systematik 8: 289-464.

Rödel, M.-O. and Pauwels, O.S.G. 2003. A new Leptodactylodon species from Gabon (Amphibia: Anura: Astylosternidae). Salamandra 39: 139-148.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Trichobatrachus robustus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54443A18361006. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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