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Assessment Results

© 2015 Gonçalo M. Rosa (1 of 16 )

AmphibiaWeb species account

IUCN Red List assessment

Conservation Needs Assessment

Scaphiophryne gottlebei ,   Red Rain Frog
Assessed for:  Madagascar   on: 13 Nov 2015   by: Gonçalo Rosa  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Anura     Family:   Microhylidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Endangered (EN)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     Madagascar  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   18.47109446 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   In Situ Conservation  , In Situ Research  , Ex Situ Research  , Conservation Education   
Additional Comments:   CITES Appendix II 

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Endangered (EN)
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). ED value 20 - 50
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? Yes / probably Although part of the species range lies within Isalo National Park (a protected area), its habitat might be at risk from fire, wood extraction, overgrazing by livestock, and even sapphire mining activities. Disturbance by tourists within the range of the species are reported to have increased, but the impacts of this are unclear. Recent surveys have shown it to occur a little more widely than was previously thought, maybe even found in the Makay massif.
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for potential reintroduction or translocation? Yes / probably
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
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 are likely to be reversible in time frame to prevent further decline / extinction
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from unsustainable 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? Unknown Over-collection for the international pet trade could be a significant threat to this restricted-range species, and it is still commonly recorded in international trade (the high level of mortality among captive animals might be contributing to the high level of trade).
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 Regular monitoring of this species does not exist. However, some efforts have been made to understand the ecological requirements and needs of this species, as well as its natural dynamics. See Crottini et al. 2008 (Org Div Evo), Rosa et al. 2011 (N W Jour Zool) and Andreone et al. 2013 (Herpetologica)
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 The species lives in a peculiar habitat, within narrow canyons. The whole range is very dry and the species is very well adapted the climate, being active in a short window of time for breeding purposes during the rainy season (Andreone et al. 2013). It is partly rupicolous and able to climb vertical walls within the narrow canyons. The species is largely fossorial and specialised to live within the narrow and wet canyons, and has a high dispersal capability, most likely during storms in the rainy season, as the tadpoles seem to be washed away (Andreone et al. 2006, 2013).
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.
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
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 Creation of insurance colonies may be a strategy to help preserving the wild populations. At the moment there is still a huge lack of knowledge on how to breed the species. Successful breeding has been achieved through the use of hormones only.
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
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Yes, bred to F1 The species has been circulating in the trade, although the knowledge about its husbandry is very limited. London Zoo ZSL has breed captive animals, but no success on rearing the tadpoles. Chester Zoo is trying to develop guidelines for successful breeding and healthy husbandry. Another group of individual has been breed using hormones and tadpoles successfully reared completing metamorphoses.
16 Educational potential Is the species especially diurnal/active/colourful and therefore suited to be an educational ambassador for conservation of this group of species? Yes Although with mostly nocturnal habits, this is a very colourful and attractive frog that could potentially be used for educational purposes. However, should be taken into account the short life span of this species (2-3 years) (Guarino et al. 2010)
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
18 Range State approval Would a proposed ex situ initiative for this species be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? 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 see Busse & Böhme (1992)