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42. Gardiner’s Seychelles Frog

Sechellophryne gardineri


Gardiner’s Seychelles frog is one of the world’s smallest frog species, with adults reaching the size of just 1 cm! This species is ground-dwelling and forages at night for small invertebrates such as mites.

This species is part of the Sooglossidae (Seychelles frog) family which diverged from their closest ancestors around 100 million years ago, around the time humans and elephants last shared a common ancestor. This species has the widest elevation range of any of the Seychelles frogs, and has been reported from 200 metres above sea level to the top of Morne Seychellois at 915 metres above sea level.

Gardiner’s Seychelles frog can occur in both disturbed and undisturbed rainforests and can occur in areas dominated by introduced trees such as cinnamon. The species is common at many sites, but populations are declining across their tiny range due to climate change and habitat degradation from fire and invasive species, agriculture, timber and human settlement. The species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, and occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park and in the site of a conservation project on Silhouette.

  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Sooglossidae
  • Population: > 2,000 per site
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 10-11mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 6.05 (?)
ED Score: 51.85 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is found on Mahé and Silhouette islands in the Seychelles, from 150-991 m above sea level.

Habitat and Ecology

Gardiner’s Seychelles frog occurs in high to mid altitude sites, favouring moist and deep littered rocky areas. They live both on the ground in forest litter and on low vegetation in leaf axils. The frogs breed on land where the females lay large eggs in small clumps on moist ground. Direct development occurs whereby young emerge from eggs as miniature adults. Breeding occurs throughout the year.

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Loading species distribution map...

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).

Habitat change Logging Fire Invasive species

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
Available at:

Targeting the Seychelles ‘EDGE-zone’

  • Locations: Seychelles
  • Active dates: 2012 - 2015
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James Mougal

  • Project name: Improve our knowledge on sooglossid frogs distribution & abundance and develop a monitoring protocol
  • Project site: Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette islands, Seychelles
  • Active: 2014 - 2017
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