Distribution and status of the Seychelles frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Sooglossidae)

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Abstract:

The distribution and population densities of the Sooglossidae are evaluated. This family of frogs is endemic to the Seychelles islands where four species are restricted to high forests on the islands of Mahé and Silhouette. New distribution data are presented and habitat preferences quantified. Previously Sooglossus thomasseti was considered to be restricted to moss forest; here it is shown that the species is found in boulder fields, with the highest population densities in the moss forest zone, but occurs down to 80 m above sea level. Sooglossus sechellensis is also largely associated with higher altitudes, but suitable microclimates may occur at 300 m a.s.l. Sooglossus pipilodryas is restricted to palm-rich habitat on Silhouette island. Sooglossus gardineri is the most widespread and tolerant species and the only one to occur in degraded habitats. Monitoring methods are evaluated, with direct estimation from quadrats being the preferred method. All four species are considered Vulnerable due to their restricted ranges; S. thomasseti and S. sechellensis may also be threatened by habitat loss.

Keywords: MAHE; MONITORING; POPULATION; SOOGLOSSUS; STATUS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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