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Assessment Results




© 2016 Joern Koehler (1 of 34 )

AmphibiaWeb species account




IUCN Red List assessment


Conservation Needs Assessment

Mantella aurantiaca ,   Golden Mantella, Golden Frog, Red Mantella
Assessed for:  Madagascar   on: 16 Jul 2019   by: Devin Edmonds  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Anura     Family:   Mantellidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Critically Endangered (CR)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     Madagascar  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   11.52078053 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   Rescue  , In Situ Conservation  , In Situ Research  , Mass Production in Captivity  , Conservation Education  , Biobanking   
Additional Comments:    

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Yes / probably
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? Yes
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). Yes - completed
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a well-managed or reliably protected area or areas? Yes / probably Found within Ramsar Site of Torotorofotsy, though this site is not reliably protected. New Protected Area of Mangabe supports over 50% of Mantella aurantiaca population and is in development, but currently is not protected or managed effectively.
5 Habitat for reintroduction, conservation translocation or supplementation Does enough well-managed and reliably protected habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for conservation translocation, including population restoration or conservation intoduction? Yes / probably Torotorofotsy, Mangabe, Ambatovy Conservation Zone, etc. however habitat needs to be modified by creation of breeding ponds to support population and this technique tested and monitored long-term.
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? Yes / probably Translocations from Ambatovy mine footprint, where breeding sites have been cleared, to created ponds ("receptor sites") in Conservation Zone surrounding the mine have been carried out by NGO Madagasikara Voakajy since 2011. Their outcome is unknown. A major limitation is finding suitable breeding sites that are not already occupied by the species. Creating new breeding ponds by modifying habitat for translocations currently undertaken but outcome not yet known. Reintroductions from captive-bred stock at Mitsinjo breeding center occurred in 2017 but outcome unknown.
7 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats unlikely to be reversed in time to prevent further decline / extinction Habitat loss is the main threat, and although actions are being carried out to address this threat in some locations they do not guarantee the species survival. See Randrianavelona, R., Rakotonoely, H., Ratsimbazafy, J., Jenkins, R. K. B. 2010. Conservation assessment of the critically endangered frog Mantella aurantiaca in Madagascar. African Journal of Herpetology 59(1): 65 — 78 and Randrianavelona R., Randrianantoandro J. C., Rabibisoa N., Randrianasolo H., Rabesihanaka S., Randriamahaleo S., Jenkins R. K. B. 2010. Stratégie de Conservati on de l’Espèce Mantella aurantiaca (grenouille dorée) 2011-2015 for threats facing M. aurantiaca and actions being done to address them.
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? Yes / probably Not known if collection is sustainable in the long-term, likely has been or is still unsustainable at highly targeted sites. CITES II. Collected in high numbers into the early 2000's, with at least 30,000 individuals collected in a single year in the late 1990's (see Rabemananjara, F., et al. 2008. Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5(1): 3-16); however, moratorium on exports in mid 2000's and annual CITES quota reduced in recent years to as low as 280 individuals/year. Collection supposed to occur only at a few breeding sites that are supposed be or have been monitored recently. Research into effects of trade ongoing. Mortality after collection means CITES export quotas are lower than the actual number of frogs collected.
9 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Yes / probably If threats can be mitigated effectively then the wild population should be large enough at most sites to recover naturally.
10 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional Not biologically distinct.
11 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? Yes Socio-economic importance related to trade. Flagship species at Mangabe and Torotorfotsy Wetland.
12 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No research dependent on this species Not known to be scientifically important.
13 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? Yes Population ecology and dynamics for potential sustainable trade; habitat requirements for breeding pond creation regarding translocations at Ambatovy sites
14 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? No Husbandry of this species and closely related species already well-understood.
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Yes, bred to F2 Genetically viable captive assurance colony maintained in range (Andasibe) and bred to F2+ generation. Outside of Madagascar bred widely within cosmopolitan zoo collections and by private breeders.
16 Conservation education/ecotourism potential Is the species especially diurnal, active or colourful, or is there an interesting or unusual aspect of its ecology that make it particularly suitable to be an educational ambassador for conservation of the species in the range country, either in zoos or aquariums or within ecotourism activities? Yes
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? Yes
18 Range State approval If an ex situ initiative was proposed for this species, would it be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably The Sahonagasy Action Plan is ratified by the Malagasy government and states support for ex situ initiatives for all amphibian species in Madagascar. Already maintained in country.
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate an ex situ program, if one was recommended? Yes / probably
20 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes
21 In situ conservation activities Are any in situ conservation actions currently in place for this species? (Only required if a Red List Assessment has not been completed, or if new actions have been implemented since the last Red List Assessment. (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.). Madagasikara Voakajy has led conservation activities for the species in Mangabe. Limited monitoring programs have been carried out at Torotorofotsy by Mitsinjo. Ambatovy has carried out translocations to mitigate impacts of their mine.
22 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Population status, trends, and demography of remaining populations
23 Action plans Does an Action Plan for the species already exist, or is one currently being developed? Randrianavelona R., Randrianantoandro J. C., Rabibisoa N., Randrianasolo H., Rabesihanaka S., Randriamahaleo S. and Jenkins R. K. B. 2010. Stratégie de Conservati on de l’Espèce Mantella auranti aca (grenouille dorée) 2011-2015. An updated version has also been published for 2016-2021. Madagasikara Voakajy is leading this effort.
24 Ex situ conservation activities Is any ex situ research or other ex situ conservation action currently in place for this species? (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.) Maintained widely by zoological institutions as well is within its native range at Mitsinjo's breeding center. Captive-bred stock was released in 2017 at created sites but the outcome of these releases is unknown.
25 Husbandry analog required If an ex situ rescue program is recommended for this species, would an analog species be required to develop husbandry protocols first?
26 In situ conservation activities Are additional in situ conservation actions (e.g. habitat restoration and/or protection, control of invasive species, national legislation etc.) required to help conserve this species in the wild? Habitat protection, improved habitat management, continued monitoring of populations used to supply pet trade