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38. Du Toit’s Torrent Frog

Arthroleptides dutoiti

About

There have been numerous surveys to locate Du Toit’s torrent frog since its last record in 1962, but all attempts have failed to find the species.

A single specimen was recorded in 1934 and one other in 1962 in the Suam River, but no individuals have been recorded for over 50 years. This suggest Du Toit’s torrent frog may be extinct. However, this could also be due to the difficulty of surveying the preferred habitat of this species, which comprises fast-flowing streams and waterfalls.

Du Toit’s torrent frog is one of around 12 species within the Petropedetidae family, which diverged from all other amphibians in the Late Cretaceous, more than 70 million years ago. This group started to evolve separately from the rest of the extant amphibians 5 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs, which makes them as distantly related to other frogs as pigs are to whales!

The area from which Du Toit’s torrent frogs are known is outside protected areas and is now mostly farmland. The montane forest in the region is under threat from logging, charcoal burning and the use of agrochemicals. However, suitable habitat still remains for this species to potentially persist in the nearby Mt. Elgon National Park and the Kenya Forest Service managed land. Given the disappearance of other montane species from humid regions of the tropics, the role of chytridiomycosis in the decline of this species cannot be discounted.

  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Petropedetidae
  • Population: Possibly Extinct
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 31mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 6.07 (?)
ED Score: 26.02 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct

Distribution

This species is found on the Kooitobos River in the northeast of Mount Elgon in Kenya and also along the Suam River, which divides Kenya and Uganda at the northeast base of Mount Elgon. Its known elevation range is 2,100-2,200 metres above sea level.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is associated with seeps and fast-flowing streams and montane forests. Breeding is likely to be similar to other species in genus, with eggs laid on wet rocks close to torrential streams and waterfalls, with tadpoles developing on the rocks, out of the water.

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Conservation Actions

For each key category of conservation action, we calculated a conservation attention score based on expert information. In this graph, a higher score means the action is being carried out more intensively over more of the species range. The colour shows how important each action is considered to be for the conservation of this species.

Engaging stakeholders
52
Addressing threats
26
Status of knowledge
44
Management plan
11
Capacity building
22
Behaviour change
15
Awareness raising
30
Funding
7
Legislation
22
0
20
40
60
80
100
  Score: 100 means the activity occurs at high level across more than 75% of the species range
 
Priority:
High
Medium
Low
Very Low

Overall Conservation Attention

We combined all of the expert information on conservation actions to calculate an overall conservation attention score for this species. Please help us to reach our goal of establishing dedicated conservation attention at “High” levels for all EDGE species.

Very Low Low Medium High
19%

More information

Recent studies have grouped all possible conservation activities for any species into nine key categories (Washington et. al 2015). For each action, we asked experts for each species to assess the extent to which that action is being carried out and how much of the species’ range that action occurs in. For each action we used these two pieces of information to calculate the conservation attention score per action. A score of 100 means that the action is being carried out to a high level across at least 75% of the species range. We then combined the scores for all actions into an overall conservation attention score for the species. The experts also judged how important each category was to the conservation of that particular species.

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Urban development Industrial development Tourism Volcanoes Earthquakes Avalanches Habitat change Droughts Extreme temperatures Extreme weather Crops Wood plantations Livestock Aquaculture Fossil fuel Mining Renewable energy Roads/Rail Utility lines Shipping Flight paths Hunting Gathering Logging Fishing Recreation Wars Work Fire Dams Ecosystem changes Invasive species Native species Introduced genetic material Disease Wastewater Industry Agriculture Garbage Air pollution Energy

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org

Jacob Ngwava

  • Project name: Conservation Assessment of the Critically Endangered Du Toit’s Torrent frog (Petropedetes dutoiti) in Kenya
  • Project site: Mount Elgon, Kenya
  • Active: 2012 - 2015
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