Karpathos Frog, Pelophylax cerigensis

The Karpathos Frog, Pelophylax cerigensis, is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is one of the most endangered frogs due to its isolated, small range. It is endemic to the island of Karpathos in Greece, and found only in a single river in the north of the island. Its range is thought to be only 10 km2. This frog is largely aquatic and can be found in slow-moving streams and permanent still waters. It is one of only three amphibian species endemic to Greece, with all three limited to small islands. the other species are the Crtan Frog, which can only be found in Crete, and the Karpathos Lycian Salamander, which is found on Karpathos, Kasos, and Saria.

Habitat loss is the biggest threat to the species. Its extent of occurrence is less than 100km2 and it is potentially sensitive to habitat modification, including excessive freshwater abstraction. However, fire also poses a threat to species survival and it is likely to be vulnerable to climate change.

The Karpathos Frog is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Research is needed on its current distribution and population numbers, as well as its captive husbandry. As the species appears to occur solely on a single river, protection, management and monitoring needs to occur to safeguard the habitat and thus the species from further threats or extinction. There are currently no known breeding programs for this species.

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