Raorchestes travancoricus © Manoj P

The IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority published 61 extinction risk assessments in the Spring 2015 update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

In this update, 48 are reassessments and 13 are brand new additions to the IUCN Red List. We are pleased to see that 6 species were removed from the threatened categories (Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered) thanks to the availability of new information. However, over half are threatened with extinction and 7 moved to a higher threat category.

Region Published First-time assessment Threatened Moved to higher IUCN threat category
Mainland Africa 43 5 29 7
Mainland Southeast Asia 7 6 5
North America 6
South America 4 2 4
South Asia 1 1
Totals 61 13 39 7

There is good news for Raorchestes travancoricus. Assessed as Extinct in 2004, it was rediscovered in Kerala, India later in the same year. It has been assessed as Endangered because of its restricted area of occupancy and ongoing habitat loss in Vandiperiyar and Vagaman due to extensive tea cultivation and emerging tourism activity, such as resort construction in the forested areas of Vagaman.

ARLA logoOf note are the criteria behind the threatened assessments. Severely fragmented populations experiencing continuing declines in either the extent or quality of their habitats were the overwhelmingly common theme. In fact, these threats were the basis for all the Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered listings.

So all in all it is a mixed bag in terms of news, but we are pressing on towards our goal of updating all amphibians on the IUCN Red List by the end of the IUCN Quadrennium in December 2016.

Thank you to everyone who is working so hard towards this goal and to our generous donors!

Duncan Sharp, Louise Hobin & Jennifer Luedtke
IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority, Central Coordination Team
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