Eleutherodactylus poolei, or Poole’s robber frog, is a Critically Endangered member of the the Eleutherodactylidae family and is endemic to Haiti.
Very little is known about the population of this species, as it is probably rare and was last recorded in 1985!
This species is one of more than 100 species comprising the diverse Eleutherodactylus genus. These species were previously considered part of an even larger genus containing more than 700 species, before it was split into several smaller genera.
Though there is still much work to be done regarding the taxonomy of this large group of frogs, which is distributed across Central America and the Caribbean, it is thought they diverged from all other amphibians around 50 million years ago. In evolutionary terms, this means these frogs are as distantly related to other amphibians as wolves are to tigers!
This species is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List because of an expected population decline of greater than 80% over the next ten years, predicted from severe degradation of the species’ habitat, and because the area occupied by this species is less than 10 km2. Moreover, all individuals are found in a single location, meaning the degradation of this species habitat impacts all individuals.
The primary threat to this species is habitat destruction due to charcoal collection and subsistence farming. The species is found around the Citadel Laferriere, which is a world heritage site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. The current status of the species is unclear and further survey work is required to determine its population status. The maintenance and protection of surrounding forest is necessary.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Eleutherodactylidae
- Population: Very rare
- Trend: unknown
- Size: 28mm
This species is found only in and around the Citadel Laferriere, on the peak of a mountain nearly a thousand metres from the plain from which it rises, northern Haiti, with an altitudinal range from 550-650 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species was recorded from a moist dungeon in an old fort and probably occurs in the surrounding forest. Eggs are laid on the ground and it breeds by direct development, meaning young emerge from the eggs as miniature versions of the adults and they bypass a free living larval stage (tadpole stage).