EDGE Community


Project information

[Project name/title]
Conservation Assessment of the Critically Endangered Du Toit’s Torrent frog in Kenya


[Project description/overview]

This study seeks to carry out an assessment of one of the world's critically endangered amphibian species, Petropedetes dutoiti which is endemic to Mt Elgon on the border of Kenya and Uganda.This is an amphibian species associated with seeps and fast moving waters. It was last spotted in the wild in 1962 and had thus been conceived as extinct.

This study aims to determine the current distribution range of Petropedetes dutoiti, the population status and to identify the threats to the species.



Location:
Mt Elgon in Western Kenya on the border of Kenya and Uganda

Project type:
Conservation

Relevant EDGE species:
Du Toit's Torrent Frog (Petropedetes dutoiti)

Project members:
Jacob Ngwava




Relevant species
29. Du Toit's Torrent Frog (Petropedetes dutoiti) CR

This fast-flowing steam species has not been seen since 1962 and may be extinct.

[Relevance description]

It is one of the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species, also listed as Critically Endangered under IUCN. Has a very limited global distribution only restricted to Mt Elgon on the border of Kenya and Uganda.

Species background

Petropedetes dutoiti is a frog known only from Mt Elgon on the border of Kenya and Uganda. It is the smallest of the genus Petropedetes, which comprises frogs associated with seeps and fast-flowing streams in montane forests. The species was last spotted in the wild in 1962 and was classified as Extinct on the IUCN Red List between 1994 and 1996.

The species is now listed as Critically Endangered, implying some chances of re-discovering the species with more searches. Its breeding behaviour is unknown (Channing & Howell, 2006) but is presumably as with other species in the genus, with eggs laid on wet rocks close to torrential streams and waterfalls, and the larvae developing on the rocks out of the water.

The habitat of this species appears to be in good condition, although it might still be affected by logging and general forest encroachment. Conscious of the fact that the species has not been found at its type locality, or in other streams on the mountain for over 50 years now, and in view of disappearance of other montane stream dwelling species elsewhere in the humid tropics (Stuart et al. 2008), the impact of disease, such as Chytridiomycosis, cannot be ruled out as potential candidates for the marked decline in the population of this species.

Earlier studies have recommended more field surveys to determine the actual status of P. dutoiti in the wild (Channing & Howell, 2006; Lötters et al, 2003; Stuart, 2008).

 
Aims

To study the current distribution range of Petropedetes dutoiti and to identify the threats to the species. Consequently, we will develop workable conservation strategies for the species.

 
Objectives
  1. To determine the population status of Du Toit’s torrent frog in the wild, (presence/absence, extant range, population size, potential threats).
  2. To conduct a preliminary study of presence/absence of chytridiomycosis in the species and surrounding amphibian community.
  3. To conduct a stakeholder workshop in Mt Elgon ecosystem with the aim of sensitizing Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service staff on the P. dutoiti so as to motivate and involve them in monitoring of the species.
  4. To generate a detailed scientific report to inform sound future in situ conservation and management strategies for the Du Toit’s torrent frog.
 
Project members
Mr Jacob Ngwava MSc: Lead Researcher

Working towards saving of the Critically Endangered Du Toit's torrent frog in Kenya

[Member role description]
Within this project:

EDGE Fellow, Project Leader

Project partners

National Museums of Kenya - Herpetology section,

Kenya Wildlife Service

Kenya Forest Service

Local Communities in the environs of Mt Elgon

 
Donors

EDGE of Existence programme, ZSL

 
[Title:]
[Image caption]

© Craig Turner / ZSL

[Title:]
[Image caption]

© David Curnick / ZSL

Associated Blog Posts
8th May 14
What comes into your mind when you hear of a person determined to go into the wilderness to study an animal s/he has never seen? Well, that is me. I have had...  Read

30th Apr 13
Since the last week of March, heavy rains have been pouring in Kenya. Catastrophic floods and massive landslides, in which numerous people have lost their li...  Read

19th Mar 13
EDGE Fellow Jacob starts his adventure in search of an elusive EDGE amphibian species... I cannot tell the number of times that I have thought about begin...  Read