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77. Nyingwa Caecilian

Scolecomorphus uluguruensis


The Nyingwa Caecilian (also known as the Uluguru black caecilian) has a very distinct breeding behaviour which is rare for amphibians.

Normally amphibians will lay eggs which then hatch externally. However, this species is viviparous, meaning that adults will give birth to live young and the process of reproduction does not depend on water bodies at all! This species was once locally abundant in the past, but it is likely to suffer from habitat disturbances. Deforestation and agricultural intensification, including the application of agricultural herbicides and pesticides, could also have an impact on soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation that is important for this species. This species does occur in the protected Uluguru Nature Reserve, but small-holder agriculture is encroaching on the protected forest. Increased protection of this reserve and possibly the rest of the species’ habitat are required.

  • Order: Gymnophiona
  • Family: Scolecomorphidae
  • Population: Previously locally abundant
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 146-330mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.94 (?)
ED Score: 46.64 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is known from the Uluguru Mountains of Tanzania, between the altitudes of 1,800-2,500 metres above sea level.

Habitat and Ecology

This is a soil-dwelling species found in montane forests and it probably survives in secondary habitat such as small-holder agricultural allotments.

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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).

Crops Logging Agriculture

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.
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