Endangered Amphibians In The Cloud Forests Of Alta Verapaz
When Indigo Expeditions first visited CCFC in 2014 we encountered 11 species of amphibians during a 3 day exploratory survey.
- 8 of those species were considered to be endangered by the IUCN redlist,
- 3 species were considered to be Vulnerable to extinction, and
- 5 were thought to be Critically Endangered.
Through intensive survey work over the following 5 years the number of amphibians known at CCFC has increased to 18 species.
At time of writing, 9 of these species are considered to be threatened with extinction.
A recent assessment of the status of amphibian populations by the IUCN Amphibian Species Specialist Group decided that 3 of the species originally considered Critically Endangered, had not shown the anticipated declines in population that had led to their classification in the previous assessment.
Both the black-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis moreletii) and montane robber frog (Craugastor lineatus) were downgraded from Critically Endangered to Least Concern in 2017 and 2019 respectively. The Copan stream frog (Ptychohyla hypomykter) was downgraded to Vulnerable in 2017.
So That’s Good News For:
- The black-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis moreletii)
- The montane robber frog (Craugastor lineatus) and
- The Copan stream frog (Ptychohyla hypomykter)
Not only had populations of these 3 species not continued their decline as expected, but in the case of black-eyed treefrogs some populations had in fact increased. This highlights the need for continued monitoring of wildlife populations in order to accurately assess the conservation status of species.
The Endangered 9
6 Classed as Vulnerable
- Coban mushroom tongue salamander (Bolitoglossa helmrichi)
- Müller’s climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa mulleri)
- Bocourt’s robber frog (Craugastor bocourti)
- Brook robber frog (Craugastor rivulus)
- Xucaneb robber frog (Craugastor xucanebi)
- Copan stream frog (Ptychohyla hypomykter)
3 Critically Endangered
- Rio Sananja spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla pokomchi)
- Las Palmas spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla quecchi)
- Alta Verapaz spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla teuchestes)
This blog is not intended to be used as an identification guide. At Indigo we take the welfare of animals very seriously and identifying which species of amphibian or reptile you are observing is often tricky, especially in the tropics.
Wherever possible we use digital photography to look at identifying features and keep physical contact with these sensitive creatures to a minimum.
Handling of animals should always be carried out by a trained expert, or under the supervision of one. Where necessary and appropriate any handling of sensitive species undertaken by Indigo is carried out under licence from the relevant authorities.
Indigo Expeditions is not in any way suggesting that reptiles and amphibians are handled in the field without a trained expert.
Please ask a professional to help!