AMPHIBIAWEB
Pseudophilautus auratus
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
 
Species Description: Manamendra-Arachchi K & Pethiyagoda R 2005 The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae:Rhacophorinae), with description of 27 new species. Raffles Bull Zool Suppl. 12:163-303.

© 2012 Dr. Peter Janzen (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:

 

Range Description

This species is known from the general region of the Sinharaja World Heritage site of southwestern Sri Lanka. Its elevational range is 513-1,270 m asl. It has been recorded from two threat-defined locations: 1) There are records from Morningside Forest Reserve, the nearby Handapan Ella Plains and western Sinharaja near Kudawa (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005), and 2) it was recently observed in the Kanneliya Forest Reserve in the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya complex of southern Sri Lanka, which extends the range beyond the region of the type locality in the Rakwana Massif (Bopage et al. 2011). These locations are geographically distinct and are embedded in a vast deforested matrix; the threat of habitat loss is driven by local factors and differs in intensity among sites. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 330 km

Habitat and Ecology

It is found only in closed-canopy rainforest and cloud forests and in cardamom plantations within cloud forests. It is usually found close to streams or marshy areas. Adult males are usually perched about one metre above ground, on understorey shrubs (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005), and it is often encountered perched in leaf clusters of Freycinetia sp. (Bopage et al. 2011). Breeding takes place by direct development and it is not dependent upon water.

Population

It is generally considered to be a rare species. However, a recent survey produced observations of eight individuals over a two-hour period (

Population Trend

Unknown

Major Threats

It is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural encroachment (especially for tea and cardamom cultivation), human settlement and illegal logging. It is also at risk from agrochemical pollution. Forelimb malformations have been observed in this species, possibly attributable to infection or exposure to agrochemicals (de Silva 2011).

Conservation Actions

It is found in the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (the largest remnant of Sri Lanka's forests), and forest reserves bordering the eastern margin of the World Heritage Site. Much of the species range is encompassed by the Morningside Forest Reserve. This area receives some level of government protection, but is not an official conservation area (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). While the government has purchased much of the land around Morningside, there is still pressure from land use within the reserve; a tea/cardamom plantation operates at the centre of the reserve and there is illegal clearing of understory to establish small parcels for cardamom cultivation (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). There is need for improved protection of the area and incorporation of Morningside into the contiguous Sinharaja World Heritage Site would help prevent future loss of remaining forest habitat (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). It is also known from the Kanneliya Forest Reserve (Bopage et al. 2011). Research is needed into its life history, population status and potential threats.

Citation

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Pseudophilautus auratus. In: IUCN 2014

 

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