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45. Seychelles Frog

Sooglossus sechellensis

About

The Seychelles frog is an incredibly tiny frog, with males reaching a maximum length of just 15 mm.

The Seychelles frog is one of four tiny frogs from the Sooglossidae family, a group of threatened frogs which diverged from their closest ancestors around 100 million years ago. This was around the same time humans and elephants last shared a common ancestor! The Seychelles frog exhibits parental care. When offspring emerge from their eggs as tiny tadpoles they immediately crawl onto the back of the guarding parent, where they are secured by mucus. The tadpoles then develop and metamorphose into miniscule froglets that leave when fully developed.

The species is locally common in its tiny range; however habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species are causing population declines. The habitat is deteriorating mainly due to increased fire and invasive species such as the crazy ant. Since 2006, population declines have been recorded in lower altitude sites, which are associated with changes in rainfall patterns, and climate change is projected to have a negative impact on the suitable areas for this species to survive.

The Seychelles frog is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, and occurs in the Morne Seychellois, Silhouette and Praslin National parks. Captive colonies have been successfully maintained although successful captive breeding has not yet been recorded for this species.

  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Sooglossidae
  • Population: Common
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 15-20mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 6.03 (?)
ED Score: 50.86 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct

Distribution

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

Habitat and Ecology

The Seychelles frog inhabits leaf litter on the forest floor in both pristine and disturbed rainforests, and they are often found at the edge of forest areas. Seychelles frog are known to guard their eggs in terrestrial nests and exhibit parental care. The Seychelles frog feeds on small insects, mites and other invertebrates that live in forest litter and rotten logs.

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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).

Habitat change Fire Invasive species Invasive species

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

Download the survival blueprint for this species below. Each survival blueprint is compiled by an EDGE fellow working on the species with input from collaborators and stakeholders. The survival blueprint provides a status review (information on the distribution, protection status, habitat & ecology, threat and stakeholder analysis) and more information on the action programme listed here.

Vision (30-50 years)

There are viable sooglossidae population on all the three islands (Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette).

Goal (5-10 years)

To ensure that there is a long-term monitoring programme in place on all the three islands (Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette), and reduce data deficiency on sooglossid frogs’ ecology and the risk of chytrid disease from arriving into the country.

Objectives

Priority
Establish a long-term monitoring programme for the conservation of sooglossid frogs within protected areas on all three islands (Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette). Critical
Review and update the Sooglossidae Conservation Action Plan (Survival Blueprint) through a stakeholders’ participatory process. Critical
Develop and enforce legislation to reduce the risk of the chytrid disease from arriving into the country. Critical
Status of Sooglossidae is known through research on population size, ecology and behaviour of all four species. High
Develop partnership between different organisations managing protected areas in Seychelles to facilitate sharing of information. High
Actively involve University of Seychelles’ students in field research and scientific data analysis, and other conservation activities. Medium
Increase visibility of Sooglossidae nationally to attract more funding. Low

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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