Schmidt’s robber frog has not been recorded since the mid 1980s, despite extensive surveys carried out within its range between 1998 and 2000.
Schmidt’s robber frog 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!
Schmidt’s robber frog is listed as Critically Endangered and possibly extinct by the IUCN Red List. It was common in the past, but the failure to find any individuals would suggest a catastrophic decline, of greater than 80% over the last ten years, even within suitable habitats. The Chytrid fungus may have had a large impact on the populations of this species. Moreover, in the Cordilla Central, habitat destruction is occurring due to agricultural development and expansion and disturbance from ecotourism.
The range of this species includes several protected areas, but there is very little management of these areas for conservation. Improved management of these areas and the maintenance of other remaining habitat are essential for the protection of this species.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Eleutherodactylidae
- Population: Possibly extinct
- Trend: decreasing
This species has a restricted range in the Cordillera Septentrional and Cordillera Central in the Dominican Republic and in the Massif du Nord, Haiti. It has been recorded from sea level up to 1758 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is often found beside streams in mesic closed canopy rainforests. Males call from the river and stream banks. Females lay their eggs on the ground and the young emerge as tiny froglets from the eggs (direct development).