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Bale Mountains Frog

Ericabatrachus baleensis


This once numerous species has only been sighted three times since 1986, and has not been found at the place it was originally found, despite repeated surveys.

Its range is estimated to be just 0.96km²! Bale Mountain frogs are monotypic within their genus, meaning they are the sole member. On morphological grounds, this species seems to be highly divergent from many other close relatives and this is further supported by molecular differences, suggesting a long period of divergence from its closest relatives. The main threat to this species is human-induced habitat deterioration through cattle grazing, the trampling of streams, deforestation for firewood and settlement development. The Chytrid fungus has also been detected on this species but its impact is not known. This species entire range lies within the Bale Mountains National Park, which is a protected area. There is an established conservation programme in the park run by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. However, there is a lack of amphibian-specific activities and there is increasing encroachment in the park. Therefore improved park management is required alongside protection of the remaining montane forest habitats.

  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Pyxicephalidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 19-27mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.94 (?)
ED Score: 22.68 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is only known from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, at 2,400- 3,200 metres above sea level. It has only been found in three defined localities: Katcha, Fute and Tulla Negesso.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is only known from giant heath woodland and adjoining Schefflera-hagenia species forest, where it is found on the grassy banks of small, fast-flowing steams. Breeding behaviour is unknown, but female specimens contain large, unpigmented ova. This would suggest direct development occurs whereby offspring emerge from the eggs as miniature adults and bypass a free living larvae stage.

Find out more

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).

Urban development Livestock Logging Native 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.
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