Tree frog (Leptopelis rufus) metamorph at lower Mt Kupe, April 2015.
Assessing the Status of Amphibians on Mts. Kupe and Nlonako in the Wake of Declines in the Highlands of Cameroon
The Highlands of Cameroon holds a vast diversity of amphibians, many of which have small ranges on one to a handful of mountaintops. These latter species are typically therefore assessed to be threatened with extinction. In recent years, on particular mountains currently being monitored, there have been disappearances of amphibian species that have not been explained. More mountains need to be surveyed to determine if declines are occurring elsewhere. If not, these localities can be prepared for such an eventuality, as well as comparing the ecologies of these mountains to those where declines are underway, including determining the causes.
Mt Kupe, Cameroon.
The aim of this project is to assess whether amphibian declines have occurred at Mt Kupe and Mt Nlonako, two mountains with good historical amphibian baselines. The first objective is to assess the status of the amphibian species pool on the two mountains at representative elevations. The second objective is to assess whether deforestation or chytrid fungus occurs and if there has been a decline of anurans.
Montane forest on Mt Kupe
Depending on the results, management plans can be drafted to prepare for or manage the declines, as well as further research to determine causes and consequences of these declines across Cameroon, something this study will be a cornerstone for.
The aim of this project is to assess whether amphibian declines have occurred at Mt Kupe and Mt Nlonako, two mountains with good historical amphibian baselines.
The current decline of anurans in the Highlands of Cameroon has introduced a high level of uncertainty into the vulnerability of the amphibian community. Species originally assessed to be a lower risk of extinction have disappeared on other mountains and are likely to have their threat status elevated in due course. Species already assessed to be threatened include: Arthroleptis perreti(Endangered) – not recorded on these mountains but thought to be present (Blackburn et al 2012, IUCN Red List), Afrixalus lacteus (Endangered),Astylosternus diadematus (Vulnerable), Astylosternus fallax (Endangered), Astylosternus laurenti(Endandered), Astylosternus montanus (Near Threatened), Astylosternus perreti (Endangered),Cardioglossa venusta (Endangered), Cardioglossa melanogaster (Endangered), Cardioglossa nigromaculata (Near Threatened), Conraua goliath(Endangered), Conraua robusta (Vulnerable),Hylarana asperrima (Endangered), Hyperolius acutirostris (Near Threatened), Leptodacytlodon bicolor (Vulnerable), Leptodactylodon boulengeri(Vulnerable), Leptodactylodon mertensi(Endangered), Leptodactylodon ornatus(Endangered), Leptodacytlodon ovatus (Near Threatened), Leptodactylodon wildli (Endangered),Petropedetes cameronensis (Near Threatened),Petropedetes johnstoni (Near Threatened),Petropedetes perreti (Endangered), Phrynobatrachus cricogaster (Vulnerable), Wolterstorffina parvipalmata(Vulnerable), Werneria mertensiana (Endangered),Werneria submontana (Endangered)
Solomon Echalle, Thomas Doherty-Bone, Gonwouo Nono LeGrand
Solomon Echalle by a stream at Mt Kupe.
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation
If you would like to further support this project or invest in the Amphibian Survival Alliance’s Seed Grant program please contact Candace M. Hansen-Hendrikx, Director of Communications and Partnerships.
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