|Scientific Name:||Boulengerula niedeni|
|Species Authority:||Müller, Measey, Loader & Malonza, 2005|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||John Measey, Patrick Malonza, Hendrik Mueller|
|Reviewer/s:||Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)|
Listed as Critically Endangered since it has an extent of occurrence of less than 100km2, is restricted to one location, and its habitat is undergoing a continuing decline in quality.
|Range Description:||This species is known only from c. 1,080 m on Sagala Hill, in the Taita Hills, south-eastern Kenya. This mountain block is isolated from other similar habitat by the arid Tsavo plains, and so the range of this species is believed to be restricted to the c. 29km² within this block that are above 1,000 m asl.|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The species is considered to be common in suitable habitats within its small range. At one site, 16 specimens were dug up in one hour in an area of 30m².|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Presumably originally a montane forest species, all specimens found were dug up from shambas (smallholder farms), usually in soil underneath banana plants or under decomposing organic debris. The species thus seems tolerant of small-scale farming activities. However, the density of animals is much higher near streams than in shambas away from streams, so the area of optimal habitat is very small. The species appears to be completely absent from eucalyptus plantations (which cover much of the Sagala Hill area), and is also missing from the small remaining area of natural forest on the ridge of Sagala Hill (perhaps because it is above the elevation level of this species, or because of the absence of suitable streamside habitat). It is presumed to breed by direct development.|
|Major Threat(s):||Very little natural forest remains on Sagalla Hill, but it is not clear whether or not these caecilians might sometimes benefit from anthropogenically disturbed habitat. Although tolerant of small-scale farming activities, the continued expansion of these has in recent years lead to the removal of streamside vegetation. This has resulted in severe flooding, and an increase in the erosion of river banks (with serious loss of soil) where this species is known to breed, and occur at its highest densities. Pesticides might also pose a threat.|
|Conservation Actions:||This species is not known from any protected areas. It is an urgent priority to restore the vegetation along stream banks in order to minimize erosion and loss of soil. Plans to remove the eucalyptus plantations in the area might be beneficial for the species, providing that this is done carefully, and does not result in even more widespread soil erosion.|
IUCN. 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 04 May 2006.
Müller, H., Measey, G.J., Loader, S.P. and Malonza, P.K. 2005. A new species of Boulengerula Tornier (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from an isolated mountain block of the Taita Hills, Kenya. Zootaxa: 37-50.
|Citation:||John Measey, Patrick Malonza, Hendrik Mueller 2006. Boulengerula niedeni. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 May 2013.|
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