Ranitomeya summersi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA DENDROBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Ranitomeya summersi
Species Authority: Brown, Twomey, Pepper & Sanchez Rodriguez, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Summers’ Poison Frog
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly included within Ranitomeya fantastica (Brown et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-07-16
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Angulo, A., Roelke, C., Twomey, E. & Brown , J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A. & Jarvis, L.
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because of its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 375 km², its population considered to be severely fragmented, a continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat in northern Peru, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals due to illegal collection for the pet trade.
History:
2011 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This frog is known from nine geographic localities in the central Huallaga Canyon and surrounding semiarid valleys, including both sides of the Rio Huallaga, into the southernmost edge of the Cordillera Escalera and to the northwestern edge of the Cordillera Azul, in the region of San Martín, northern Peru (Brown et al. 2008, J.L. Brown et al. 2011, Brown pers. comm. July 2011, E. Twomey pers. comm. April 2013). It can be found from 180–700 m asl (J.L. Brown and E. Twomey pers. comm. July 2011). Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO) and taking into account both known and projected sites, is estimated to be 375 km² or less (but note that the depicted range refers to known sites, at 243 km2), although it has a spotty distribution within this realm, most of which is comprised of unsuitable habitat (Brown et al. 2008, J.L. Brown and E. Twomey pers. comm. July 2011).

Countries:
Native:
Peru
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the last three decades the subpopulation in the locality of Chazuta, where smuggling operations have typically taken place, appears to have experienced a dramatic decline. Subpopulations in other areas that seem to be overlooked by illegal collectors appear to flourishing (Brown et al. 2008). The global population is considered to be severely fragmented given that its habitat is in fragmented patches, more than half of the individuals are in small and isolated patches, and the species' biology is not conducive to dispersal in between habitat patches (J.L. Brown pers. comm. July 2011, E. Twomey, pers. comm. April 2013). Approximately 20 individuals have been observed in the past few years (E. Twomey pers. comm. April 2013).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in dry, primary and secondary rocky premontane forests (Brown et al. 2008), characterized by an open canopy and rocky substrates (J.L. Brown and E. Twomey pers. comm. July 2011). It is a diurnal, terrestrial species, and breeding takes place in the humid leaf litter, with clutch sizes ranging from 4–9 eggs, and tadpoles are later transported into tree holes and phytotelm (water-holding plants) axils with small water pools, where they complete metamorphosis (Brown et al. 2008). Captive breeding efforts suggest that when conditions are adequate females may lay multiple clutches a year (Brown et al. 2008). This frog does not appear to be tolerant to habitat disturbance associated to agricultural activities (J.L. Brown and E. Twomey pers. comm. July 2011).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Brown et al. (2008) indicate that illegal collecting for the pet trade may have had localized impacts in certain areas. The species began to be legally exported in 2001, but almost all frogs currently in the pet trade are of illegal origin, including captive-bred frogs originated from smuggled ancestors (J.L. Brown and E. Twomey pers. comm. July 2011, J.L. Brown pers. comm. August 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In addition to illegal trade, this frog is threatened by extensive habitat loss given that much if its habitat is near human settlements, and the constant encroachment by small-holder farmers and agro-industry seeking to expand their farmland is causing rapid deforestation, thus comprising a major threat to this species (Brown et al. 2008, E. Twomey pers. comm. April 2013). Around the type locality of Sauce and other known localities (e.g. Chazuta) deforestation remains extensive and two of the sites where this species was found are on the verge of being destroyed (E. Twomey pers. comm. April 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known to occur in any protected areas, although given its proximity to Cordillera Azul it could potentially occur there. More information is needed on this species' population status and level of trade, and legislation and enforcement of legislation is needed to address the issue of illegal trade. Given the degree of ongoing habitat loss occurring throughout its range, habitat protection is urgently needed. CITES does not recognize Ranitomeya benedicta and R. summersi as separate species, so they are treated as subpopulations of Dendrobates fantasticus in Appendix II of CITES.

Bibliography [top]

Brown, J. L., Twomey, E., Amezquita, A., de Souza, M. B., Caldwell, J. P., Lotters, S., von May, R., Melo-Sampaio, P. R., Mejia-Vargas, D., Perez-Pena, P., Pepper, M., Poelman, E. H., Sanchez-Rodriguez, M., and Summers, K. 2011. A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae). Zootaxa 3083: 1-120.

Brown, J.L., Twomey, E., Pepper, M. & Sanchez Rodriguez, M. 2008. Revision of the Ranitomeya fantastica species complex with description of two new species from Central Peru (Anura: Dendrobatidae). Zootaxa 1823: 1-24.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).


Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Ranitomeya summersi. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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