ArticlePDF Available

Fernando Poli, Samuel Renner, Hamilton Zanardi Grillo and Ted R. Kahn , 2012. First Adult Rediscovery, First Recording of Call, and Ecological Notes for Melanophryniscus macrogranulosus (Braun, 1973), Brazil. Pages 38–39.

FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 1
South America
Regional Focus
News from the ASG
Regional Updates
Global Focus
Recent Publications
General Announcements
And More.....
“Lost” Frogs -
Phase II
Which species do you
think should be in the Top
Leaping Ahead of
What’s your plan?
News from the herpetological community
January 2012 Vol. 100
Paintings of
Ameerega yoshina
(orange and red morphs) from a Field Guide to Aposematic Poison Frogs
(Dendrobatidae) of the Andean Countries: Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela © 2012 Ted R. Kahn
2 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
Thanks to a generous donation from Andrew Sabin, the IUCN SSC Amphibian
Specialist Group (ASG) announces the fth annual award to recognize individuals
who have made a signicant contribution to promoting the conservation of globally
threatened amphibians. The award of US$25,000 is open to individuals from all
disciplines relevant to amphibian conservation and research anywhere in the world.
Nominations of individuals from developing countries are highly encouraged.
Nomination forms and supporting information can be found on the ASG web site at The closing date for nominations is the
29th January 2012.
e Sn Awa 
Amphian Conservati
Robin Moore / iLCP
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 3
Taking the pulse of the planet’s biodiversity: a new
tool for tracking changes in amphibian abundance
The Living Planet Index (LPI) is
a measure of the state of the world’s
biological diversity based on population
trends of vertebrate species from around
the world. The Amphibian Survival Al-
liance (ASA), in collaboration with the
Zoological Society of London and WWF,
aims to develop a new index of amphib-
ian population change. To nd out more
about the LPI download the fact sheet
planet-index-1062.pdf or contact Jaime
Garcia Moreno (jaime.garciamoreno@ or Phil Bishop (phil.bishop@ to nd out how you can get in-
volved in this innovative initiative.
The Living Planet Index :
A call for support
4 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
Recent Publications 71 | Meetings 85 | Internships & Jobs 85 | Funding Opportunities 87 | Author Instructions 93
5 Editorial
6 ASG Updates
8 ASG Bulletin Board
9 The Search for “Lost” Frogs Next Steps
12 Conservation and biogeography of threatened Amphibians of
Eastern Sinharaja
New Amphibian Captive Breeding Center Opens in
Protection of critical amphibian habitat through novel
partnerships in Colombia
18 Leaping Ahead of Extinction
Regional Updates
24 Rediscovery of the endemic marsupial
frog Gastrotheca gracilis and
conservation status of the genus
Gastrotheca in NW Argentina
26 The conservation status of Amphibians
of Argentina
27 Bolivian amphibian Initiative and the
conservation work in Bolivia
29 Frogs from the end of the world:
conservation,alliances and people
action in the Valdivian Coastal range
of Chile
32 Darwin’s frogs in Chile
34 Conserving South Chile’s Imperiled
Amphibian Fauna
36 Colombian Amphibians: Cryptic
diversity and cryptic taxonomy
38 First Adult Rediscovery, First
Recording of Call, and Ecological
Notes for Melanophryniscus
macrogranulosus (Braun, 1973),
40 Ecological Notes, Natural History
and Conservation Summary of
Melanophryniscus admirabilis (Di
Bernardo et al. 2006), Brazil
41 Field Guide to Aposematic Poison
Frogs (Dendrobatidae)of the Andean
Countries: Colombia, Bolivia,
Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela
44 Nine New Species of Frogs and
Toads Discovered at Reserva
Natural Mesemis-Paramillo in the
Northwestern Andes of Colombia
45 Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in
Venezuela: Current Research and
47 Atelopus Cruciger: Past, Present and
Future in Venezuela
50 Museo de Zoología of Ponti cia
Universidad Católica del Ecuador
51 Caring now for the future of the
Ecuadorian frogs: The “Balsa de los
Sapos” Initiative
52 The Cutting Edge of Sustainability:
Cold Blooded Research in an
Overlooked Hotspot
54 Famous Atelopus frogs from Amazonia
56 Merging community ecology and
phylogenetic biology in amphibian
research: How habitats shape anuran
trait communities and species’ life-
history traits
58 Biology of Hibernation in
Duttaphrynus melanostictus
(Schneider, 1799)
59 Multiple emergences of genetically
diverse amphibian infecting chytrids
include a globalized hypervirulent
recombinant lineage
61 An Overview of ASG Regional Activities
in Mainland China
62 Protecting the streamdwelling frog
Feirana taihangnicus in Central
63 A public education program for
amphibian conservation from
Shenyang Normal University Wildlife
Conservation Society in China
63 Monitoring and habitat restoration
of a newly discovered population of
Onychodactylus scheri in China
65 Survey and monitoring of amphibians
in Yatung of Tibet
66 Decline and Conservation of
Amphibians: an Update
69 Report on Lithobates vibicarius
(Cope, 1894) (Anura: Ranidae) in
Parque Nacional del Agua Juan Castro
Blanco, Alajuela, Costa Rica
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 5
Please consider the enviornment before
printing this publication. Reduse, reuse,
Editorial Ofce
Conservation International
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite
500, Arlington, VA 22202
James P. Collins
ASG Co-Chair
Claude Gascon
ASG Co-Chair
Phillip J. Bishop
ASG Deputy Chair
Robin D. Moore
ASG Program Ofcer
James P. Lewis
ASG Program Coordinator
elcome to the 100th edition of FrogLog. A little over 20 years ago the
rst edition of FrogLog was published by the Declining Amphibian
Populations Task Force (DAPTF). A free publication, FrogLog provided
a summary of eld studies, announcements, grant support, and recent publica-
tions. In August 2006 the 76th edition of FrogLog was published by the newly
formed IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. Since then we have tried to build
on the great work undertaken by the DAPTF and have continued to develop Fro-
gLog to meet the needs of our members and the wider community interested in
amphibian conservation and research.
With the current FrogLog format we are hoping to provide an insight into regional
activities and provide opportunities for individuals and groups to tell their stories.
FrogLog articles range from detailed project updates and notes on the ecology of
species, to stories from the eld, which often read like an adventure novel.
This edition is a prime example of what we are trying to achieve. The ASG Updates
provide a general overview of some of the projects in which we are currently
involved, specically within the region of focus but also globally, allowing us to
highlight some of the upcoming projects of our partners, such as Amphibian Ark’s
“Leaping Ahead of Extinction” event this February 29th (see page 18).
The Regional Focus section was introduced to provide members an annual
platform to publicize their inspiring efforts. In this South American edition we
have updates from a number of groups from Argentina to Venezuela with several
fantastic submissions from non-ASG members whose work we are proud to
publish. The Global section provides further opportunity for individuals and
groups to publicize their efforts throughout the year. In this edition we have
articles from Costa Rica, China, and India to name but a few.
We hope that the development of FrogLog will continue to be dynamic and meet
the needs of our members and the wider community and thank all those who
have played a part in keeping FrogLog alive for the last 20 years. Here’s looking
forward to the next 20!
James P. Lewis
ASG Program Coordinator
6 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
he IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) is a global network of
dedicated experts who donate their time and expertise to create a com-
munity from where practical amphibian conservation can be advanced
based on a solid foundation of science. The ASG is directly involved in supporting the activities of a number
of amphibian conservation projects around the world. Here you can see a few updates from projects we are
currently supporting and other news of interest. More information on ASG supported projects and the work
of ASG members and partners around the world can be found on our web site at
News in Brief
Amphibian Specialist Group
Helping to Protect Amphibians Around the World
ASG Updates
Amphibian Ark (AArk)
is pleased to announce
an exciting new inter-
national promotion, to
coincide with Leap Day
(February 29th) 2012.
The event is called
“Leaping Ahead of Ex-
tinction: A celebration
of good news for amphibians in 2012”, and the focus is
to promote institutions that are managing amphibian
rescue or supplementation programs.
page 18.
The 101st edition
of FrogLog due
out in March will
be focusing on
Europe, North
Africa and West
Asia. If you would like to publicize your amphibian
conservation efforts please contact the appropriate
regional chair (
sources/asg-members/#zone3) or James Lewis at
Europe, North Africa and West
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 7
Amphibian Specialist Group
Helping to Protect Amphibians Around the World
Sri Lanka
The ASG is actively supporting the devel-
opment of an amphibian habitat moni-
toring and habitat restoration program in
Morningside, Sri Lanka through a grant
part funded by the Save Our Species pro-
gram. Read more about this incredible re-
gion that is currently under threat and the
importance of the program on page 12.
Don Church
A New Amphibian Cap-
tive Breeding Center
Opens in Madagascar.
Led by the Mitsinjo As-
sociation, with support
from Malagasy authori-
ties, the ASG and a range of other NGOs. Although chytrid has
not yet been detected in Madagascar, seven of the country’s
amphibian species are already designated as Critically Endan-
gered, and therefore at high risk of extinction if disease out-
breaks should occur. The amphibian center will establish cap-
tive populations of the most threatened species as a reserve in
case the fungus reaches the island. Read more on page 15.
Nirhy Rabibisoa
8 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
Vol. 100
January 2012
ASG Bulletin Board
The Amphibian Red List Authority seeks a volunteer
intern to assist with maintenance and update of the
amphibian conservation assessment database in the
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The intern
will receive formal training in the IUCN Red List
Categories and Criteria, IUCN’s Species Information
System (SIS) database and IUCN’s mapping stan-
dards. The internship will involve helping update
the amphibian database and liaising with experts as
needed to complete draft assessments. Potential in-
terns should have a good understanding of amphib-
ian taxonomy, declines and conservation, strong
internet-search and data-mining skills. Familiarity with GIS and operating and managing
web systems as well as knowledge of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria will be an
asset. All interns must have an advance level of English, both spoken and written. While
this is an unpaid internship, the intern will receive a copy of Threatened Amphibians of the
World at the end of the internship. For more information please contact Ariadne Angulo
Amphibian Biology - series update
Recent Pubs.
added to the
web site
The ASG library (http://www.amphibians.
org/resources/publications/)continues to
grow with the addition of the regional ac-
tion plan from China. We are currently
working with ASG China to translate this
into english and as soon as this has been
completed it will be available online.
If you have any publications that you feel
should be included on the ASG web site
please contact James Lewis at jplewis@am- We are particularly interested
in collating all amphibian action plans and
encourage all regional groups who have
produced such a document to contact us
with details.
The Series “Amphibian Biology” is bring-
ing out four volumes (Vols. 9-11) that deal
with the decline and conservation of am-
phibians and which should be of interest
to readers of Froglog. The series continues
to develop and qualied persons interested
in contributing manuscripts for the fol-
lowing countries or Parts, should contact
Harold Heatwole, Dept. Biology, NC State
University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7617, USA
or email: -
Islands of the Indian Ocean, Middle East,
Sub-Saharan Africa and Islands of the
Atlantic Ocean (Togo has been assigned)
Australia, New Zealand and Islands of the
Pacic Ocean. Read more on Page 66.
Thanks to a generous donation from Andrew Sabin, the ASG announces the fth annual
award to recognize individuals who have made a signicant contribution to promoting the
conservation of globally threatened amphibians. The award of US$25,000 is open to in-
dividuals from all disciplines relevant to amphibian conservation and research anywhere
in the world. The deadline for nominations is Sunday 29th January 2012.
Please see for more information.
The Sabin Award for Amphibian
Robin Moore / iLCP
Amphibian Red List Internship
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 9
n August 9, 2010, the Amphibian Specialist Group and
Conservation International, with support from Global
Wildlife Conservation, announced the launch of the
Search for “Lost” Frogs an unprecedented global search for am-
phibian species not seen this century some not seen in close to
two centuries! ASG members were pivotal in compiling the pre-
liminary list of 100 “Lost” species. Over the proceeding months,
thirty-three teams comprising 126 researchers were supported in
21 countries with one goal in mind: to nd the lost amphibians.
Teams battled landslides and severe rains in Mexico, scoured
steamy jungles in the Ivory Coast and waded up rivers in Bor-
neo in an unprecedented unied global search for “Lost” species.
The Search for “Lost” Frogs captivated the public in a way that I never
imagined, with the initial announcement being picked up by some
150 news articles with over 200 million potential viewers. From
here interest in the search snowballed as regular updates from the
eld spoke of the unwavering persistence and optimism required
to brave the elements in the name of science. While most teams,
after days and even weeks in the eld, came home exhausted and
empty-handed, it wasn’t long before the good news started coming
in. Some fteen species last seen between 15 and 136 years ago were
reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, India,
Mexico and Haiti and as the rst phase of the search neared its
close came the rst “top ten” nd: the Rio Pescado Stubfoot Toad in
Ecuador, Atelopus balios. A total of six press releases generated 650
news articles in 20 countries with over a billion potential viewers.
The rst phase of the Search for “Lost” Frogs concluded in Feb-
ruary 2011, but this did not deter researchers from continuing
their search. In June, some eight months after searches began
for the species, the elusive rainbow toad of Borneo - Ansonia
The Search for “Lost” Frogs Next Steps
Ri o Pe s c a d o st u b f o o t to a d , At e l o p u s b A l i o s , ec u a d o R
La s t s e e n : 1995
Re d i s c o v e R e d : oc t o b e R 2010
th e Re d i s c o v e R y
After 15 years without records, a eld party from Museo de
Zoología, Ponticia Universidad Católica del Ecuador led by San-
tiago Ron found in October 2010 the only know population of A.
balios in Ecuador. They received help from a family of peasants
who gave convincing accounts of recent sightings of the species. A
single adult individual was found during a nocturnal search. The
frog was along a river over a leaf 50 cm above ground. The indi-
vidual was apparently healthy.
ne x t st e P s
Protecting the land where A. balios occurs is of high prior-
ity because farmers, who have little awareness of the im-
portance of the population, currently own the land. We
are currently in discussions with partners about how we can ensure the protection of this habitat. The vegetation in the re-
gion is dominated by secondary forest and land devoted to agriculture and cattle rising. An additional priority is monitor-
ing the population to have a better understanding of its size and composition by reproductive stage and sex. Based on that in-
formation it could be determined if the population requires to be managed ex situ at the facilities of Balsa de los Sapos in Quito.
By Robin D. Moore
Eduardo Toral-Contreras
The original “Top Ten” Most Wanted poster. Three of the “Top Ten” have
already been found and there is still hope in nding others. This poster was a
fundamental tool in capturing the world’s media attention and provided a clear
overview of the project to the general public.
10 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
sa m b a s st R e a m to a d , An s o n i A l A t i d i s c A , bo R n e o
La s t se e n : La t e 1920s
Re d i s c o v e R e d : Ju n e 2011
su m m a R y
Ansonia latidisca is a bufonid amphibian, which, until 2011,
was known from three individuals from two locations in
north-western Borneo, namely, western Kalimantan and
western Sarawak. The only published literature is the origi-
nal description of Inger (1966), who referred it as a montane
species. Interest stimulated by the Search for “Lost” Frogs
Campaign lead to intense eld work by Dr Indraneil Das and
his graduate students Pui Yong Min andOng Jia Jet at one of
these sites, Gunung Penrissen. Following support from the
campaign for preliminary searches, this research was contin-
ued under sponsorship of Shell grant, through the Institute
of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti
Malaysia Sarawak. This led to the rediscovery of the species in June 2011, when three individuals were located along a stream at a
higher elevation than expected.
ne x t st e P s
In the coming year eld work will focus on gathering ecological information on the species, as part of an M.Sc. thesis by Mr.
Ong Jia Jet, a graduate student at UNIMAS under the supervision of Dr Das. In September, the Trustees of The Rufford
Small Grants Foundation approved a RSG grant of £5,500, towards a project entitled, “Ecology and conservation of Anso-
nia latidisca, the Bornean Rainbow Toad, at Gunung Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia”, to further understand the biology and ecol-
ogy of this unknown toad. This research will be key to determining the status and threats to the species. In addition, a small
group is being kept in the lab to make behavioral observations to date the only calls known from the species have been from
this population. According to Dr Das the calls are somewhat low-pitched and are therefore may be hard to hear in the eld.
hu L a P a i n t e d f R o g , di s c o g l o s s u s n i g r e v e n t e r , is R a e L
La s t se e n : 1955 a n d L i s t e d a s ex t i n c t
Re d i s c o v e R e d : no v e m b e R 2011
th e Re d i s c o v e R y
In the early 1950s, Hula lake and surrounding marshes were drained as a
way of tackling malaria. Among other environmental problems, draining
the lake led to the near extinction of an entire ecosystem and the unique
endemic fauna of the lake, and in 1996 the Hula painted frog was de-
clared extinct by the IUCN. Only three adult Hula painted frogs had ever
been found. Two of these were collected into captivity in the 1940s, but the
larger one ate the smaller one, leaving just one specimen to remember the
species by. Subsequent expeditions to nd the species were unsuccessful.
Until, one morning in November 2011, Nature and Parks Authority warden Yoram Malka was conducting his routine patrol of the Hula
Nature Reserve when something jumped from under him. He lunged after it and caught it: he was holding in his hand a male frog - the
rst Hula painted frog seen in over 50 years. Two weeks later a female was found in swampy weeds, twenty centimeters deep, and at
13 grams weighs only half of her male counterpart.
ne x t st e P s
The rediscovery of the Hula painted frog has taken the species from being a symbol of extinction to a symbol of optimism in what is
clearly an important area for biodiversity. The frog lives within the Hula Reserve, and aquatic ecologist Dana Milstein believes that the
frog’s rediscovery is linked to environmental improvements in the reserve. According to Dr Milstein, “in recent years, the water quality
has improved, after they started to pour water from sh ponds and nearby springs into the reserve”. As conditions continue to improve
it is hoped that the frog will serve as an inspirational success story for ecological restoration; in the meantime, Nature and Parks aim
to assess the status of the frog within the reserve.
Indraneil Das
© Professor Heinrich Mendelssohn, Tel-Aviv University.
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 11
latidisca - last seen in 1926 and one of the “top ten” “Lost” spe-
cies, was rediscovered. In November, a Park Ranger conducting
his daily rounds of Ha’Hula lake in Israel could barely believe
his eyes when he stumbled upon the Hula painted frog Dis-
coglossus nigriventer a species last seen in 1955 and pro-
nounced extinct after the draining of its habitat a truly stag-
gering rediscovery that brought the total “top-ten” nds to three.
The goal of the Search for
“Lost” Frogs was to de-
liver an important message
about the plight of amphib-
ians in an engaging and
inspiring package. Tapping
into a sense of exploration
and discovery, the Search
for “Lost” Frogs resonated
with the public. The suc-
cess of the campaign was
thanks to the passion, en-
thusiasm and dedication of
the amphibian community
the scientists who helped
compile the list and the
researchers who endured
days and weeks in the eld
searching for the prover-
bial needle in the haystack.
As we enter phase II of the
campaign under the um-
brella led by the ASG, we
would like your help in re-
freshing the top-ten list by
adding three species you
think deserve to be high-
lighted to replace those
that have been found. We
are therefore inviting you,
before February 14 2012, to
nominate which species you
believe deserves to be in the
top ten and why. We appre-
ciate the subjectivity of this
list – it is designed as a tool
for engaging the public and
therefore we will select par-
ticularly iconic, unusual or
ecologically important spe-
cies and will try to achieve a
good global spread of select-
ed species. Please email me
with your nomination including the name of the species, last time
seen, available images/video or illustrations, any known searches
and plans for future searches, and a sentence explaining why this
species deserves to be in the “top ten”. We will announce the new
“top ten” on February 29.
We are also in the process of developing the “Lost” Frogs web page
on to maintain a
dynamic and current online list of “Lost” species. Again, we look to
you, the experts, to tell us when you believe a species is “Lost” and
when a species can be struck off this list. Species on the list should
not have been seen in the past decade and its continued survival
should be in question.
The continued and wide sup-
port of this campaign dem-
onstrates not only the public
awareness value of such ef-
forts but also the potential
scientic value. By sharing
information on searches,
the community can help to
ensure that indicators such
as the IUCN Red List, and
other similar indicators,
are incorporating the most
comprehensive information
available. In the case of the
“Lost” species this includes
being able to record the
amount of effort that is put
into searching for a species
and where those searches
have taken place. By record-
ing this information through
the Search for “Lost” Frogs
we are better able to provide
supporting evidence on the
actual status of species and
take appropriated action.
We look forward to working
with you to keep the Search
for “Lost” Frogs alive and
keep the rediscoveries com-
ing, and welcome your feed-
back please do not hesitate
to email me (rdmoore@ with any
questions. While we do not
currently have funds to sup-
port teams searching for
“Lost” frogs we are seek-
ing sponsors interested in
supporting eld teams and
hope to be able to support
future efforts to nd “Lost”
Three of the “Top Ten” Most Wanted Amphibians have already been found, we are now looking
for your help to identify three more species which can take their place on the “Top Ten” Most
Wanted list. Please email with your nomination including the name
of the species, last time seen, available images/video or illustrations, any known searches and
plans for future searches, and a sentence explaining why this species deserves to be in the “top
12 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
espite some recent remarkable discoveries of new species
(Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda, 2005; Meegas-
kumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005), Sri Lanka
has already lost 21 species of amphibians, this is about half the
conrmed extinctions in the world. Nineteen of these Sri Lankan
amphibians belong to genus Pseudophilautus (Meegaskumbura et
al. 2007), all of which are terrestrial direct developers and many
of which are habitat specialists, often requiring the shade of a can-
opy covered forest for survival. Eighty six percent of the currently
known 67 Pseudophilautus species described from Sri Lanka are
Conservation and biogeography of threatened
Amphibians of Eastern
By Madhava Meegaskumbura, Suyama Meegaskumbura, Nimal
Gunatilleke, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Gayan Bowatte, Tharindu
Gunathilaka and Champika Bandara
Fig. 1.
Ps. procax
, a Critically Endangered, forest dwelling species, restricted to
Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 3.
Ps. lunatus
, a Critically Endangered, forest
dwelling species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 2.
Ps. papilosus
, a Critically Endangered, forest
dwelling species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 4.
Ps. simba
, a Critically Endangered, leaf litter
dwelling species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 5.
Ps. limbus
, currently designated as Critically
Endangered, but has a wide extent of occurrence,
lowland to Rakwana hills.
Fig. 6.
Ps. poppiae
, an Endangered, forest dwelling
species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 7.
Ps. ocularis
, an Endangered, forest dwelling
species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 8.
Ps. auratus
, an Endangered, forest and open-
area dwelling species, occur in Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 9.
Ps. decoris
, an Endangered, forest dwelling
species, restricted to Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 10
. Ps. regius
, a Data Decient species, lives in
open areas and has a wide distribution.
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 13
threatened with extinction (CR, EN or VU, IUCN Red List Catego-
ries) or are extinct (EX). Eastern Sinharaja (ES) harbors 10 Pseudo-
philautus species of which 5 are Critically Endangered (Ps. procax,
Ps. papillosus, Ps. lunatus, Ps. simba and Ps. limbus), 4 are Endan-
gered (Ps. poppiae, Ps. ocularis, Ps. auratus and Ps. decoris) and
1 is Data Decient (Ps. regius) (Fig 1-10); seven of the ten species
are endemic to ES, highlighting the importance of ES as a refuge
for threatened frogs (Fig. 11 & 12). Many of the Pseudophilautus,
including the seven ES forms are point endemics (very restricted
distributions). The point endemic nature of Pseudophilautus is due
to a combination of the following characteristics: terrestrial direct
development, habitat specialization, requirements of unique cli-
matic conditions and constraints to reproduction.
Through ex-situ and in-situ observational studies (Bahir et al.
2005) and molecular phylogenetic analyses (Meegaskumbura et
al. 2002) it is conrmed that all Pseudophilautus species show di-
rect development. These frogs also show two major reproductive
behaviors: soil nesting
(most species; Fig. 13)
and arboreal nesting
(only seen in three
species; Fig. 14); both
these behaviors are
observed in ES Pseu-
dophilautus species.
Seven of the ES spe-
cies, especially the
Critically Endangered
forms are only found
in canopy-covered
forests. Three of the
ten species are found
both in canopy cov-
ered forest and grass-
lands. The forest spe-
cies specialize further
by selecting certain
perching heights and
microhabitats (dis-
tance from water)
within the forest stra-
ta. Species that survive
in grassland take refuge amongst litter and grass tufts.
Recent microclimate monitoring work by us for temperature
(Fig.15), relative humidity (Fig.16), light intensity and UV-radi-
ation daytime uctuations are dramatically different for forest
habitats (includes natural and regenerating forests) and degraded
grasslands and roads. However, the nighttime, uctuations were
more or less similar in all habitats. Some of the forest species, do
not hide but lay on leaf surfaces, exposed to the subdued light and
UV rays (in small amounts, UV is important for frog metabolism)
that lters through the canopy, this they will never be able to do in
an open habitat due to extreme conditions. So it seems that day-
time climatic conditions, that are regulated by the particular habi-
tat types is important in species distribution, rather than the night
time conditions. When restoration of habitats is attempted, to help
conserve amphibians, the conditions needed during the daytime
should be closely considered.
When the distribution of Eastern Sinharaja Pseudophilautus are
traced on a molecular phylogenetic tree (that of Meegaskumbura
and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2011) it is apparent that they are
distinct evolutionary lineages representative of the major clades
of Pseudophilautus in Sri Lanka. The basal nature of several of
the clades and the high endemicity suggest that ES is a montane
refugium and a center of endemism. Moreover, sister species of
some of the Eastern Sinharaja Pseudophilautus are found in Lower
Sinharaja (Kudawa) region (eg. P. decoris and P. mittermeieri, P.
procax and P. abundus, P. papillosus and P. reticulatus sister spe-
cies pairs). This shows the importance of maintaining the quality
of habitat of Eastern Sinharaja and also the connectivity between
Eastern and lower Sinharaja.
Several species that were not discovered in extensive surveys that
were carried out from 1996-2004, have now arrived in ES. These
Fig. 11. A satellite picture of Morningside area showing the amount of
fragmentation to the habitat.
Fig. 12. Road, open grasslands and regenerating forest patches.
Fig. 13.
Ps. hallidayi
laying eggs, shown to exemplify soil nesting behavior.
Fig. 14.
Ps. femoralis
female with egg clutch on leaf,
soon after egg deposition, shown here to exemplify
leaf nesting. The leaf nesting species in Eastern
Sinharaja is
P. poppiae
, which is closely related to
Ps. femoralis.
14 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
are Pseudophilatus rus (LC: least concern, IUCN category; Fig. 17),
Ps. hallidayi (VU; Fig.18) and Ramanella obscura (LC; Fig. 19); all
these species are not threatened. If these species already occurred
in Eastern Sinharaja prior to 2004, we should have found them,
as they are common species where they occur (non threatened
IUCN statuses also suggests this). However in 2005, Ps. rus was
observed on the roadside to Morningside Bungalow; Ps. hallidayi
was observed near Morningside Bunglow and R. obscura was ob-
served in a regenerating forest patch; however at the time, their
population size was low. By 2011, Ps. rus, was very common and
occupied all habitat types; R. obscura and Ps. hallidayi were still a
small population. In 2011, a dramatic drop of Taruga fastigo (CR)
(Meegaskumbura et al. 2010), and Ps. decoris population was also
The issues discussed and the trends delineated portend a bleak fu-
ture for the Pseudophilautus and other endemic animals of ES. The
entire Sinharaja, together with ES, provides a gradual gradient for
animals to disperse, especially with climatic change. In the event of
a warming event, mid-elevation species can migrate over to ES, if
they are to track colder climates.
Thus the maintenance of this altitudinal habitat gradient is criti-
cally important for the conservation of both ES and lowland rain-
forest forms of Sinharaja. To ensure the non-establishment of in-
vasive species, and to facilitate the ES endemic species, immediate
action is needed to connect many of the scattered forest fragments
through research driven reforestation programs. Activity, such as
road building, encroachments, new plantations, which destroys
connectivity in ES area should be minimized, while research ac-
tivities and reforestation work is maximized. We have now started
a long-term monitoring study in Morningside, which is being ex-
tended to an effort to restore critically important habitats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, Global Wildlife
Conservation, Conservation International, Rohan Pethiyagoda,
Don Church, Robin Moore and James Lewis, are acknowledged for
facilitating and supporting this work. The Department of Wildlife
Conservation and Forest Department of Sri Lanka are gratefully
acknowledged for permission to carry out the monitoring work.
Author details: Madhava Meegaskumbura,
Literature Cited
Bahir M. M. Meegaskumbura M., Manamendra-Arachchi K. Schneider C.J. and
Pethiyagoda, R. 2005. Reproduction and terrestrial direct development in Sri Lankan
shrub frogs (Ranidae : Rhacophorinae : Philautus) Rafes Bulletin of Zoology Suppl.,
12: 339-350.
Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & Pethiyagoda, R. (2005) The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs
of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae), with description of 27
new species. The Rafes Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12, 163–303.
Meegaskumbura M, Bossuyt F, Pethiyagoda R, Manamendra-Arachchi K, Bahir
M, Milinkovitch M.C, and Schneider C.J. 2002. Sri Lanka and Amphibian Hot Spot.
Science 298: 398.
Meegaskumbura M. and Manamendra-Arachchi K. 2005. Description of eight new
species of shrub frogs (Ranidae : Rhacophorinae : Philautus) from Sri Lanka. Rafes
Bulletin of Zoology Suppl. 12: 305-338.
Meegaskumbura, M., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Pethiyagoda, R. 2007. New
species amongst Sri Lanka’s extinct shrub frogs. Zootaxa, 1397: 1-15.
Meegaskumbura, M., Meegaskumbura, S., Bowatte, G., Mandmendra-Arachchi,
K., Pethiyagoda, R., Hanken, J. and Schneider C.J. 2010. Taruga (Anura:
Rhacophoridae), a new genus of foam-nesting tree frogs endemic to Sri Lanka.
Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Science), 39(2): 75-94.
Meegaskumbura, M. and Manamendra-Arachchi, K. 2011. Two new species of
shrub frogs (Rhacophoridae: Pseudopilautus) from Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 2747: 1-18.
Fig. 19.
Ramanella obscura
, a least concern species
that often tolerates human made conditions well, a
recent arrival at Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 15. Graph depicting the daily uctuation of temperature in Natural Forests (NF)
regenerating forests (RF), Grassland (GL) and Road-side (RS).
Fig. 16. Graph depicting daily uctuation of relative humidity in Natural Forests (NF)
regenerating forests (RF), Grassland (GL) and Road-side (RS).
Fig. 17.
Ps. rus
, a least concern species, which is a
recent arrival at Eastern Sinharaja.
Fig. 18.
Ps. hallidayi
, a vulnerable species, inhabiting
rocky areas (also live close to human dwellings); a
recent arrival at Eastern Sinharaja.
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 15
s local herpetologists we have witnessed the habitats of am-
phibians in Madagascar shrink due to pressure from forest
clearing, bushre, slash-and-burn farming, mining, oil ex-
ploration and road construction.
More than 99 percent of Madagascar’s amphibians are found no-
where else on Earth, and according to the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one-quarter of these species are
classied as threatened with extinction.
Fortunately, there is now a critical resource to help the frogs ght
back: a new amphibian captive breeding center.
Led by the Mitsinjo Association, with support from Malagasy
authorities, IUCN’s Amphibian Specialist Group and a range of
other NGOs, construction of the captive breeding facility began in
November, 2010 through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Conservation Endowment Fund. During the past 15 months, staff
training and husbandry research on local frog species has been
conducted in collaboration with, and support from, Conservation
International, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo,
Amphibian Ark, and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The Mitsinjo captive breeding facility was constructed in response
to the growing threat of the chytrid fungus that has decimated am-
phibian populations worldwide.
Although chytrid has not yet
been detected in Madagascar,
seven of the country’s amphib-
ian species are already desig-
nated as Critically Endangered,
and therefore at high risk of
extinction if disease outbreaks
should occur. The amphib-
ian center will establish captive
populations of the most threat-
ened species as a reserve in case
the fungus reaches the island.
Amphibians provide many im-
portant services to humans, such as controlling insects that spread
disease and damage crops, and helping to maintain healthy fresh-
water systems. In 2008, CI-Madagascar organized the develop-
ment of the Sahonagasy Action Plan (SAP), a national plan for am-
phibian conservation. This plan emphasized the emerging threat
posed by the chytrid fungus and the need to develop the capacity
within Madagascar to detect and monitor the disease, and to devel-
op in-country breeding facilities for disease-free frog populations.
Captive breeding will also help to combat the combined action of
habitat destruction, illegal and unsustainable collection for the in-
ternational pet trade, and the impacts of climate change.
The facility currently houses about 33 frogs representing six spe-
cies from the Andasibe region, namely: Mantidactylus betsileanus,
Boophis pyrrhus, Heterixalus betsileo, Heterixalus punctatus,
Blommersia blommersae, and Guibemantis sp.
Until now, no one in Madagascar had the knowledge or capacity
to breed these frogs in captivity. As a result, the Mitsinjo team will
rst focus on breeding common species that have similar habits
and habitats to threatened species as husbandry skills are devel-
oped. Once these captive-breeding techniques have been mastered,
the team will deal with the more threatened species. This captive
breeding program also provides an opportunity to gather informa-
tion on the life history of these frogs.
There are many challenges to this kind of work. Besides the strict
hygiene standards and the
risk of disease transmission
between the frogs, feeding
the frogs is an especially dif-
cult skill to learn. Live food is
critical for the frogs’ survival,
but it can be difcult to deter-
mine the precise quantity and
nutritional balance that the
animals need. This skill is, of
course, crucial for the success
of the center. The team’s cap-
tive breeding specialist has so
far trained six technicians to
caring for live frogs.
Although still in the early stages of this project; it is planned to
eventually develop educational programs that will showcase the
value of Madagascar’s frogs and their habitats to local people, and
generate money through ecotourism.
In the coming year, the team hopes to increase the number of spe-
cies bred at the facility — bringing us all a step closer to safeguard-
ing the future of these fascinating creatures.
Author detials: Nirhy Rabibisoa is the Executive Secretary for
the ASG, Madagascar. Justin Claude is the technician lead at the
Mitsinjo Captive breeding Center (email: babakotokely@gmail.
New Amphibian Captive Breeding Center Opens in
The Mitsinjo amphibian captive breeding facility in Andasibe, Madagascar.
(© CI/Photo by Nirhy Rabibisoa)
Heterixalus punctatus
in Madagascar. (© Photo by Devin Edmonds)
By Nirhy Rabibisoa & Justin Claude Rakotoarisoa
16 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
ver the past six years the ASG has been supporting part-
ners around the world to protect critical amphibian habi-
tat, combating habitat loss, one of the primary drivers of
amphibian declines and extinctions. The Global Amphibian As-
sessment highlighted Colombia as the country with the second
highest number of amphibian species in the world and the most
threatened species and, as a result, it has been the focus of much
of our habitat protection efforts. We have worked with a variety of
International partners to support local partner Fundacion ProAves
in the creation of six new protected areas, safeguarding more than
two-dozen threatened amphibian species.
Our rst project was developed in December 2005 when we were
approached with an opportunity to create a new 650 hectare Re-
serve in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Identied by the Alli-
ance for Zero Extinction ( as the second
highest priority site for species conservation, containing six threat-
ened amphibians and three birds found nowhere else, the site
was a clear priority for protection. Swift action and a novel part-
nership with the American Bird Conservancy allowed Fundacion
ProAves to acquire the area, which had been slated for develop-
ment, and create El Dorado Reserve. Shortly after the creation of
the reserve two harlequin toad species - Atelopus laetissimus and
A. nahumae were found after 16 years without being recorded.
Another more recent rediscovery within the Reserve, of the red-
crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis) after 113 years
without being seen, is a reminder of how elusive nature can be.
El Dorado provided an effective model for the protection of amphib-
ian habitat through a novel partnership, and was soon followed up
with the creation of another 530 hectare Reserve home to 11 threat-
ened amphibian species in the Central Cordillera in Colombia. The
Reserve, named La Forzoso, is once again owned and managed by
Colombian partner Fundación ProAves. Habitat protection is often
opportunistic, and a third Reserve was created in response to an
emergency situation for two highly threatened poison-dart frogs.
Twenty hectares of habitat critical for the species was acquired and
a new Reserve, named Ranita Dorada or “Little Golden Frog” after
one of the species it was designed to pro-
tect, was successfully created. It encom-
passes an isolated wet subtropical forest
fragment in a region dominated by cof-
fee and pasturelands in the department
of Tolima. This important and timely
project was born out of a partnership
between the ASG, IUCN Netherlands,
Dendrobatidae Nederland, Conservation
International, and Fundacion ProAves.
More recently, the ASG has supported the
creation of a new 1,175 hectare reserve
for a species of red-eyed toad believed to
be new to science. With its habitat in the
process of being cleared for cattle ranch-
ing upon its discovery, the species could
have been lost before it was even de-
scribed. Fundación ProAves approached
the ASG with the opportunity to support
the acquisition and protection of the
species’ core habitat. Swift and decisive
actions led to the purchase of 1,175 hect-
Protection of critical
amphibian habitat through
novel partnerships in
By Robin D. Moore
New Granada Cross Banded treefrog,
Smilisca phaeota
, in the Choco of Colombia. Photo: Robin Moore / iLCP.
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 17
Glass frog,
Nynphargus grandisone.
Robin Moore / iLCP
ares of forest, ensuring the survival of the species and many
others that call the area home. Facilities have now been
constructed for Reserve Staff and visiting Researchers and
in March 2011 a workshop was conducted to train promis-
ing Colombian students in amphibian research techniques.
Most recently, the ASG has supported, in partnership with
the American Bird Conservancy, the creation of a new Re-
serve to protect core habitat for the Critically Endangered
and iconic golden poison frog – Phyllobates terribilis.
cR i t i c a L am P h i b i a n ha b i t a t Wa n t e d
The ASG continues to expand support for the protection of
critical amphibian habitat to the rest of Latin America, Af-
rica and Asia, and we urge researchers and conservation-
ists to let us know of opportunities for curbing habitat loss,
one of the biggest threats to amphibians worldwide.
A sign denotes the creation of Ranita Dorado, a new Reserve for amphibians. Photo:
Fundación ProAves.
18 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
Amphibian Ark (AArk) is pleased to announce an exciting new in-
ternational promotion, to coincide with Leap Day (February 29th)
2012. The event is called Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A
celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012”, and
the focus is to promote institutions that are managing amphibian
rescue or supplementation programs. These programs should have
been recommended either during an AArk conservation needs as-
sessment, or by national governments or eld experts. We are es-
pecially focusing on programs that have, or are currently, involved
with in situ releases, head-starting etc. to enforce the important
connections between ex situ and in situ conservation activities.
Wh A t W i l l h A p p e n ?
We’re encouraging members of the public to visit their closest zoo
or other organization with amphibian programs, on or around Leap
Day 2012, to learn more about the important amphibian conserva-
tion programs that they are involved with. We are promoting the
event via international media releases, on the Leaping Ahead of Ex-
tinction web page (, in our newsletter and
Facebook page (, and through
regional and national zoo associations and amphibian groups.
As with our very successful 2008 Year of the Frog campaign, insti-
tutions do not have to be involved in rescue programs to participate
in this campaign. We want to raise as much awareness as we can
about the amphibian crisis with as many members of the public as
possible, so all are welcome.
Some institutions are planning special events to coincide with the
Leap Day event, including frog photographic displays, learning
about how to conserve frogs, behind-the-scenes tours of amphibian
facilities and special keeper presentations about the global amphib-
ian crisis and what is being done to save amphibians. Information
about special events at participating institutions can be found on
our Leap Day activities page (
Updates from some of the amphibian conservation programs being
run in institutions participating in the Leap Day promotion cam be
seen on the program update page on our web site (www.amphibi- and details
for many other ex situ amphibian programs
Pa R t i c i P a t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s
To date, 46 institutions in 15 countries have conrmed that they
will be holding Leap Day events. A list of the participating institu-
tions can be found on the Leaping Ahead of Extinction web page,
Why not visit the closest participating institution to you on or
around Leap Day (February 29th), to learn more about their am-
phibian conservation programs, and what they are doing in re-
sponse to the global amphibian crisis? You’ll also be showing your
support for these institutions and their commitment to amphibian
For more information:
Visit our web site or con-
tact Kevin Johnson, .
Leaping Ahead of
By Kevin Johnson
Now only $5
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 19
Now only $5
20 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
Literature Cited
Lavilla, E.O., J.S. Barrionuevo Y J.D. Baldo. 2002.
Los anbios insucientemente conocidos en Argentina:
Una reevaluación. Cuadernos de Herpetología. 16 (2):
Lavilla, E.O. 2001. Amenazas, declinaciones
poblacionales y extinciones en anbios argentinos.
Cuad. herpetol. 15 (1): 59-82.
Lavilla, E.O., M.L. Ponssa, D. Baldo, N. Basso,
A. Bosso, J. Céspedez, J.C. Chebez, J. Faivovich, L.
Ferrari, R. Lajmanovich, J.A. Langone, P. Peltzer,
C. Ubeda, M. Vaira & F. Vera Candioti. 2000.
Categorización de los Anbios de Argentina. En:
Lavilla, E.O.; E. Richard y G. J. Scrocchi (Eds.)
Categorización de los Anbios y Reptiles de la
República Argentina. Edición Especial Asociación
Herpetológica Argentina. Argentina: 11-34.
Lavilla, E.O. & H. Heatwole. 2010. Status of
amphibian conservation and decline in Argentina.
Chapter 3, in H. Heatwole & C.L. Barrio-Amorós (eds.).
Amphibian Biology, Vol. 9, part. 1: 30-78. Surrey Beatty
& Sons PTY Limited, Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia.
The recent history of Amphibian
conservation in Argentina shows a mosaic
of disappointing results and others who
provide high expectations. The rst
collective action took place in late 1990,
when the majority of the then active
batracologists met in three workshops
which resulted in the assessment of the
conservation status of amphibians in
the country, followed by the analysis of
threats and a more comprehensive look
on those species that had been categorized
as Data Decient (Lavilla et al., 2000;
2002; Lavilla, 2001). These local actions
were followed by the meetings sponsored
by the Global Amphibian Assessment that
culminated in a workshop in Puerto Madryn
in October 2003, ending in the subsequent
dissemination of its results via world wide
Ten years later, and thanks to the hard
work of numerous biologist on amphibian
conservation issues in the country, there
was a workshop for the re-assessment
of Argentinean amphibians with the
participation of 30 specialists. Its results
will be published in a special issue of
“Cuadernos de Herpetología”, the Journal
of the Argentinean Herpetological
Association, planned for mid 2012, but
see the summary of results in this issue
of Froglog, by M. Vaira. Next, in October
2010, 17 specialists participated in a second
workshop to assess the conservation needs
of amphibians in Argentina conducted
by local and UK specialists; the results
included the selection of 70 species that can
be used in the development of programs for
research, conservation and / or awareness.
Finally, in July 2011, a third workshop
on methodologies for breeding ex - situ,
dictated by local and UK, USA and Mexico
specialists, included the participation of 21
researchers and technicians from Argentina,
Bolivia, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador,
Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Furthermore, diverse specialists conduct
several lines of research on a variety of
topics (studies on diverse genera and
species, the analysis emerging diseases, the
impact of the agriculture on frogs, etc.), and
focusing on different geographic areas (i.e.
the continuous monitoring of the mountain
forest, the Puna and the high mountains
South America
Regional Updates
Each edition of FrogLog focuses on one of the six geographical areas as outlined in FrogLog 96 (pg 6-7). This
format provides regional ASG’s with an opportunity to showcase their conservation efforts and publicize issues
of concern. In this edition we focus on South America, a zone consisting of ten ASG regional groups.
in the Northwest, the semi-arid lowlands
of the Great Chaco, the Atlantic forest of
Misiones province, the Austral Andean
Forest and Patagonia). Some of these
activities and results were synthesized in
Lavilla and Heatwhole (2010).
Finally, a considerable effort was made
to present the problem of amphibian
conservation to the community. In this eld,
we are pleased to have issued a program on
public television at national level (see links
below), and a second one is already recorded
and in edition process, to be broadcasted
earley in 2012 in Paka-Paka, a channel for
children of Argentina’s public television.
E. O. Lavilla (Chair) Argentina
Amphibian Specialist Group .
Fundación Miguel Lillo CONICET,
San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
Screenshots from www. of Argentina’s
public television shows
discussing amphibian
conservation with Regional
ASG Chair Dr. Esteban
Lavilla. Links to these and
other videos can be found
in the literature cited list.
FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 21
Brazil and Guiana
The present Brazilian Red List was
published in 2003 and 2004. The Brazilian
government is currently coordinating the
assessment of all Brazilian vertebrates
(over 7,000 species), which is planned to
be nished by 2014. IUCN methodology
is being followed for all assessments with
workshops being facilitated by at least one
Red List Authority.
The amphibian assessments (~900 species)
are being carried out by a partnership
between the National Centre for Research
and Conservation of Amphibians and
Reptiles (RAN-ICMBio) and the scientic
community. The scientic coordinator
is Celio F. B. Haddad, a professor
at Universidade Estadual Paulista.
Assessments are planned to be carried out
in four workshops, three of which have
already occurred in 2010 and 2011. After
the last workshop, which is planned for
June 2012, the complete list of Brazilian
endangered amphibians will be published.
In the rst workshop, carried out in October,
2010, 21 researchers from 15 academic
institutions assessed 91 species presently
considered endangered in at least one red
list (IUCN, Brazilian list or state lists), as
well as a few Data Decient (DD) species.
In the second workshop, held in June, 2011,
25 specialists from 18 academic institutions
assessed 254 species, many of them DD
in the Brazilian and IUCN red lists. In the
third workshop, held in December, 2011, 22
researchers from 14 institutions assessed
285 species, most of them Least Concern
(LC) in the IUCN red list. As a result of these
workshops, 630 Brazilian amphibians were
already assessed: one Extinct, 14 Critically
Endangered, 8 Endangered, 17 Vulnerable,
27 Near Threatened, 146 DD, 406 LC, and
11 Not Assessed.
Marcio Martins
(Co-Chair) Brazil
and Guiana Shield Amphibian
Specialist Group ,Yeda Bataus
, Célio
F. B. Haddad
, and Vera Luz
1)Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biociências,
Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-090 São Paulo SP, Brazil.
2) Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Répteis
e Anfíbios-RAN/ICMBio, 74605-090 Goiânia GO, Brazil.
3) Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências,
Universidade Estadual Paulista, 13506-900 Rio Claro SP, Brazil.
Peru’s Amphibian Specialist Group currently
has over 20 members, but the estimated
number of herpetologists working in the
country is somewhere between 150 and 200
people. With such a growing community of
professionals working on the amphibians
and reptiles of Peru a logical next step
would be to give a voice to this community,
and to help inform and coordinate research
and conservation actions, increase capacity
building and outreach through the creation
of a professional society with a focus on
Peruvian herpetofauna.
In this regard we would like to report that
the long-awaited Asociación Peruana de
Herpetología (APH; Peruvian Association
of Herpetology) was legally established
in 2011. The APH’s mission is to promote
those scientic activities that facilitate the
development of knowledge on amphibians
and reptiles in Peru and contribute to the
advancement of international herpetology.
The APH’s founding members are associated
with several academic institutions, including
universities in four different regions in
Peru, as well as non-prot organizations
and natural history museums, and 90%
of them are ASG members. We expect
that the interactions among members
of the APH will increase opportunities
for collaboration among both national
and foreign colleagues, development
of research proposals and study plans
throughout the country. We also see the
APH as a potential catalyst for increasing
ASG activities. We look forward to seeing
a signicant growth in membership during
the forthcoming years, once the society’s
basic physical infrastructure is established.
Given that the APH is a new not-for-prot
organization, its current main constraint to
become fully functional is start-up funding
and completion of nancial paperwork.
Once the nancial setup is complete, an
announcement will be made on various
listservers and membership applications
will then be more than welcome to endorse
the society in the near future.
Another, general interest news pertains
to the discovery and description of
new species: about 20 new amphibian
species living in Peru were described
during the past two years (2010−2011).
These new species belong to nine frog
genera, with Atelopus, Bryophryne,
Hypsiboas, Gastrotheca, Pristimantis, and
Ranitomeya containing two or more new
taxa (AmphibiaWeb 2011). It is particularly
noteworthy that a total of nine new species
of harlequin frogs (Atelopus
) found in Peru
have been described during the past ten
years (2002−2011). Though we primarily
view these discoveries as good news, it is
disturbing to recognize that harlequin frog
populations continue to decline, become
locally extirpated, or become extinct in the
wild. This has been the case of one such
new species, Atelopus patazensis (Venegas
et al. 2008), which was originally found
in 1999 in a montane region in northern
Peru. Analysis of skin tissue from deceased
individuals conrmed the infection by the
fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
(Bd). Individuals of this species, which
had not been seen for over ten years, were
recently found in the type locality (IUCN
SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2011).
Other Atelopus species haven’t been seen
after similar periods, even though intensive
surveys in suitable habitat have been
undertaken (Catenazzi et al. 2011).
Amphibian populations at other montane
regions of Peru have also experienced
dramatic declines, as highlighted in a
study recently published by Catenazzi
et al. (2011). These declines, which were
documented based on intensive surveys
between 1999 and 2009 in a national park,
were more pronounced in stream-dwelling
and arboreal species than in terrestrial
species. Infection with Bd was implicated
in the observed species’ disappearance and
population declines in the national park and
other montane regions in Peru (Catenazzi
et al. 2010; Catenazzi et al. 2011).
In spite of this news, one challenge that
remains a top priority is to increase the
capacity to document Peru’s amphibian
diversity—and biodiversity in general.
During recent years, roughly half of the
recently described species were found at
mid to high elevations in montane forests
or puna grasslands, whereas most of the
remaining species have been found in
lowland Amazon forests. The increased
application of integrative approaches,
namely combining molecular phylogenetics,
morphology, bioacoustics, and ecology
(Padial and De la Riva 2009; Brown et al.
2011; Funk et al. 2011), will improve our
knowledge of as yet-undocumented cryptic
species richness in the country.
Recent studies suggest that amphibian
species richness is grossly underestimated
(Fouquet et al. 2007; Vieites et al. 2009),
and one study in particular suggests that one
such hotspot for cryptic species richness is
the Amazon basin (Funk et al. 2011). After
Brazil, Peru is the second country with the
largest expanse of Amazonian forest (about
61% of the country is comprised of Amazonian
rainforests; IIAP 2011), so the implications
for its biodiversity and its conservation are
considerable. There are many so-called
widespread Amazonian species which could
potentially harbour cryptic species that may
22 | FrogLog Vol. 100| January 2012
be more circumscribed and restricted than
the nominal species that they have been
associated with (Angulo and Icochea 2010),
and may be potentially threatened by local
While there are some efforts being directed
at uncovering this hidden species richness,
there are comparatively less studies
addressing the current conservation status
or change in status of Peruvian amphibians.
So far, the most comprehensive,
collaborative study addressed the status of
83 species (von May et al. 2008), 44 of which
were already assessed as threatened in the
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and/
or the Peruvian legislation, but 39 species
still require a reassessment in view of new
information on threats. This study was a
landmark contribution not only in terms
of the number of species covered, but also
in terms of collaboration: 27 authors were
involved, 14 of which (ca 52%) are current
ASG members. Although it is encouraging
to see the community come together in the
realization of this study, it is also of concern
to evidence the large number of species that
need to be reassessed in view of new data
on threats.
In this context, the Peruvian government
has been coordinating the update of the
list of threatened species and associated
legislation for the past two years.
Herpetologists have been working together
in an effort to harmonize both global and
national lists for endemic species, and while
there have been challenges throughout this
process we believe that the establishment of
the APH may facilitate similar efforts in the
Rudolf von May
(Chair) & Ariadne
(Member) Peru Amphibian
Specialist Group.
1 Focal Point, IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority
Literature Cited
AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian
biology and conservation. [web application]. 2011.
Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: http:// (Accessed on 14 Dec. 2011).
Angulo, A. and J. Icochea. 2010. Cryptic species
complexes, widespread species and conservation:
lessons from Amazonian frogs of the Leptodactylus
marmoratus group (Anura: Leptodactylidae).
Systematics and Biodiversity 8(3): 357-370.
Brown, J.L., E. Twomey, A. Amézquita, M. Barbosa
de Souza, J.P. Caldwell, S. Lötters, R. von May, P.R.
Melo-Sampaio, D. Mejía-Vargas, P. Perez-Peña,
M. Pepper, E.H. Poelman, M. Sanchez-Rodriguez
and K. Summers. 2011. A taxonomic revision of the
Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia:
Dendrobatidae). Zootaxa 3083:1-120.
Catenazzi, A., V.T. Vredenburg and E. Lehr. 2010.
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the live frog trade
of Telmatobius (Anura: Ceratophryidae) in the tropical
Andes. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 92(2-3): 187-191.
Catenazzi, A., E. Lehr, L.O. Rodríguez and V.T.
Vredenburg 2011. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and
the collapse of anuran species richness and abundance
in the Upper Manu National Park, Southeastern Peru.
Conservation Biology 25(2): 382-391.
Fouquet, A., A. Gilles, M. Vences, M. Marty, M.
Blanc and N.J. Gemmell. 2007. Underestimation
of species richness in Neotropical frogs revealed by
mtDNA analyses. PLoS ONE 2, e1109. doi:10.1371/
journal.pone. 0001109.
Funk, W.C., M. Caminer and S. R. Ron. 2011.
High levels of cryptic species diversity uncovered in
Amazonian frogs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1653.
Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana
(IIAP). 2011. Estadística e información amazónica.
Loreto, Peru.
(Accessed on 18 Dec. 2011).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2011.
Atelopus patazensis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of
Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.
>. Downloaded on 20 Dec. 2011.
Padial, J.M. and I. De la Riva. 2009. Integrative
taxonomy reveals cryptic Amazonian species of
Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae). Zoological
Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 97-122.
Venegas, P.J., A. Catenazzi, K. Siu-Ting and J.
Carrillo. 2008. Two new harlequin frogs (Anura:
Atelopus) from the Andes of northern Peru.
Salamandra 44(3): 163-176.
von May, R., A. Catenazzi, A. Angulo, J.L. Brown, J.
Carrillo, G. Chávez, J.H. Córdova, A. Curo, A. Delgado,
M.A. Enciso, R. Gutiérrez, E. Lehr, J.L. Martínez, M.
Medina-Müller, A. Miranda, D.R. Neira, J.A. Ochoa,
A.J. Quiroz, D.A. Rodríguez, L.O. Rodríguez, A.W.
Salas, T. Seimon, A. Seimon, K. Siu-Ting, J. Suárez,
C. Torres and E. Twomey. 2008. Current state of
conservation knowledge on threatened amphibian
species in Peru. Tropical Conservation Science 1(4):
Vieites, D.R., K.C. Wollenberg, F. Andreone,
J. Köhler, F. Glaw and M. Vences. 2009. Vast
underestimation of Madagascar’s biodiversity
evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
106: 8267–8272.
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FrogLog Vol. 100 | January 2012 | 23
Amphibian Conservation-Uruguay:
update on the last four years.
A meeting was called in November 2007,
all individuals and institutions working on
amphibian biology and conservation were
invited. The meeting took place on December
15, 2007 at the Museo Nacional de Historia
Natural in Montevideo. The meeting was
attended by Francisco Kolenc, Diego Nuñez,
Gabriel Laufer, Claudio Borteiro, Diego
Arrieta, and Raul Maneyro, in addition
to the co-conveners José Langone and
Rafael de Sá, co-chairs of IUCN Amphibian
Specialist Group, Uruguay. Rafael de Sá
presented and discussed the outcomes of
the Amphibian Conservation Summit that
resulted in the Amphibian Action Plan;
highlighting concerns and proposed actions
to be discussed in the context of amphibian
conservation in Uruguay. Concerns included
climate change, pollution, emerging
infectious diseases, invasive species, and
commercial over-exploitation.
The discussion of activities to be developed
by scientists in Uruguay centered on:
understanding the causes of the declines,
documentation of biological diversity,
develop and implement a national
conservation plan, and develop emergency
response plans. The participants noted
that degradation and loss of quality and
quantity of habitat is a problem for some
species in Uruguay but that commercial
use is limited and, consequently has a lower
priority threat for native species. A lack of
clear commitment to monitor and manage
amphibian populations by government
agencies is a serious concern. With regards
to potentially invasive species, the group
reported that Lithobates catesbeianus,
Xenopus, and Ambystoma are being bred
in Uruguay. Among them, L. catesbeianus
has established wild populations in the
Departments of Canelones (locality of
Pando), Cerro Largo, and Soriano; these
coincide with areas where captive breeding
of the species was established for commercial
purposes. The participants identied two
priorities to be pursued: the elimination of
all wild populations of L. catesbeianus (the
presence of the populations in private lands
may make this goal difcult to achieve)
and the early identication, presence, and
impact of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
in native species.
Update and outcomes: (1) In recent years,
populations of Pleurodema bibroni, a
species that has not been found since 1995,
was found in the Department of Rocha;
efforts should be directed to purchase or
secured the land where this population is
found to ensure long-term conservation of
the habitat and species. (2) two Ph.D. theses
related to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
are currently under way:
(a) Borteiro, Claudio. “Quitridiomicosis
en anbios de Uruguay: distribución
geográca, epidemiología y declinación de
especies amenazadas”
(b) Laufer, Gabriel: “Invasión de rana toro
(Lithobates catesbeianus) en Uruguay:
inuencia de la quitridiomicosis”
Relevant presentations and publications
on amphibian conservation in Uruguay in
chronological order:
Borteiro, C., J. C. Cruz, F. Kolenc. & A.
Aramburu. 2007. Primer reporte de infección por
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis en anbios nativos
del Uruguay. Resúmenes del VIII Congreso Argentino
de Herpetología, 13 al 16 de Noviembre. Córdoba. p. 87.
Laufer, G., A. Canavero, D. Núñez & R. Maneyro.
2008. Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) invasion in
Uruguay. Biological Invasions, 10(7): 1183-1189.
Borteiro, C., J. C. Cruz, F. Kolenc & A. Aramburu.
2009. Chtrydiomicosis in frogs from Uruguay. Diseases
January - South America
March - Europe, North Africa and West Asia
May - North and Central America and the Caribbean
July - Sub Saharan Africa
September - Mainland Asia
November - Maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania
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Robin Moore / iLCP
of Aquatic Organisms, 84(1):159-162.
Arrieta, D., F. Achaval, C. Borteiro, A. Canavero,
S. Carreira, I. Da Rosa, F. Kolenc, J. A. Langone, R.
Maneyro & C. Prigioni. 2009. Especies Prioritarias para
la Conservación en Uruguay 2009’. Sistema Nacional
de Áreas Protegidas, Serie de Informes, (16). http://
Kolenc, F., C. Borteiro, D. Baldo, D. P. Ferraro &
C. Prigioni. 2009. The tadpoles and advertisement
calls of Pleurodema bibroni Tschudi and Pleurodema
kriegi (Müller), with notes on their geographic
distribution and conservation status (Amphibia, Anura,
Leiuperidae). Zootaxa, 1969: 1-35.
Canavero, A., S. Carreira, J. A. Langone, F. Achaval,
C. Borteiro, A. Camargo, I. da Rosa, A. Estrades, A.
Fallabrino, F. Kolenc, M. M. López-Mendilaharsu,
R. Maneyro, M. Meneghel, D. Nuñez, C. M. Prigioni
& L. Ziegler. 2010. C