Raorchestes travancoricus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Rhacophoridae

Scientific Name: Raorchestes travancoricus
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1891)
Ixalus travancoricus Boulenger, 1891
Philautus travancoricus (Boulenger, 1891)
Pseudophilautus travancoricus (Boulenger, 1891)
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 B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-10-29
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Biju, S.D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Pascual Cuadras, A. & Angulo, A.
This species is listed as Endangered since its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be 30 km², it is considered to occur in three threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in the Western Ghats of India. Prior to 2015, this species was listed as extinct on The IUCN Red List (based on the assessment carried out in 2004). It is now reassessed as Endangered after its rediscovery in 2004 (after the previous assessment was published).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the type locality of Bodanaikanur (i.e.'Bodinayakkanur, Travancore') in Tamil Nadu state, from Vandiperiyar and Vagaman, both in Kerala state, India (Biju and Bossuyt 2009), and from Periyar Tiger Reserve, nearly 40 km from Vagaman (S.D. Biju pers. comm. February 2014). Its range is presumed to be currently restricted to Vagaman, Vandiperiyar and Periyar Tiger Reserve as no further individuals have been located in Bodanaikanur after the holotype was found, in spite of extensive field surveys of the area, so it is presumed to be extirpated in this region (Biju and Bossuyt 2009). Intense survey efforts in suitable regions between the known localities in Kerala State have not shed any new records; however, a more extensive field survey is needed to further ascertain its range (Biju and Bossuyt 2009; S.B.D. Biju pers comm. October 2011). The three sites where it is currently known to occur are herein considered to be individual threat-defined locations. Its elevational range is reported to be from 350 to 900 m asl (Biju and Bossuyt 2009). Its range, inclusive of the extirpated site, is estimated to be 719 km²; however, only the individual sites where it is/was known to occur are mapped, to allow for a better understanding of where it is still extant and where it has been extirpated. Taking these sites as a proxy for area of occupancy (AOO), this is currently estimated to be 30 km², although this is most likely an overestimation of AOO.
Countries occurrence:
India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu - Regionally Extinct)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:30
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):350
Upper elevation limit (metres):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It was described in 1891 and despite more recent searches was known only from the holotype. However, it was rediscovered in 2004 from Vandiperiyar, some 70 km northwest of the type locality (Biju and Bossuyt 2009). Compared to other frogs of the same genus from the Western Ghats, this species is considered to be extremely rare as only eleven individuals could be found in Vandiperiyar and Vagaman after successive nights of continuous search in those areas in 2004 and 2006 (Biju and Bossuyt 2009). While it occurs in fragmented habitat patches, it is not known whether the population itself is severely fragmented (S.D. Biju pers. comm. August 2014).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in isolated shrubs surrounded by or near plantations (mostly tea plantations), or in degraded tropical moist evergreen forest areas (S.B.D. Biju pers. comm. October 2011). It is believed to possibly also occur within plantations (S.B.D. Biju pers. comm. October 2011). During the non-breeding season it can be found under leaf litter and logs in secondary vegetation, whereas during the breeding season it can be found on vegetation up to 1 m above the ground (Biju and Bossuyt 2009; S.B.D. Biju pers. comm. October 2011). Like other species of the genus, it is presumed to breed by direct development.
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): Deforestation through conversion of land to agricultural use and urban development caused the disappearance of this species in Bodanaikanur (Biju and Bossuyt 2009). Major threats to this species in Vandiperiyar and Vagaman are extensive tea cultivation and emerging tourism activity, such as resort construction in the forested areas of Vagaman (S.B.D. Biju pers. comm. October 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recently recorded in Periyar Tiger Reserve (S.D. Biju pers. comm. August 2014). However, conservation of the unprotected sites where it occurs is urgent. More information is needed on this species' population size, distribution and natural history.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
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

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
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   
→ 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:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ 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 ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Biju, S.D. 2001. A synopsis to the frog fauna of the Western Ghats, India. Occasional Publication 1. ISCB: 1-24.

Biju, S.D. and Bossuyt, F. 2009. Systematics and phylogeny of Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Anura, Rhacophoridae) in the Western Ghats of India, with descriptions of 12 new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 374-444.

Boulenger, G.A. 1891. On new or little known Indian and Malayan reptiles and batrachians. Annales and Magazine of Natural History: 288-292.

Dutta, S.K. 1997. Amphibians of India and Sri Lanka. Odyssey Publishing House, Bhubaneswar.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2015).

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Raorchestes travancoricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T58927A3075035. . Downloaded on 25 January 2017.
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