This species is known from western Cameroon on Mount Oku, in the Bamenda Highlands, at 2,300 m asl (Nussbaum 1981). It is not known whether it occurs more widely. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 49 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been found in secondary forest, forest edge and farmland (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b), but never more than 500 m from forest, even if that forest is degraded in certain patches (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012). Its breeding biology is unknown, but it has been speculated that it is oviparous and not dependent on water bodies for reproduction.
Only four specimens were known when this species was assessed in 2004. However, field work conducted between 2006 and 2008 has recorded an additional eight individuals, only three of which were found during dedicated surveys, with the remaining individuals collected by members of the Oku community (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b). One specimen was recorded during fieldwork in 2012 (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012). Relative abundance is thus low, there was only one record in 1,008 pit-fall trap days, none in 49 m2 quadrat digging, and two in 17.5 person/hours of semi-quantitative digging (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b). It is unknown whether the population is severely fragmented and, while there is no direct information, due to the decline in the extent and quality of habitat and local persecution of the species, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Natural environments at Mount Oku are threatened by agriculture and grazing, in addition to fire and forest fragmentation (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b). However, it is not known to what extent these habitat disturbances might affect this caecilian. If it is being adversely affected by habitat loss and is endemic to Mount Oku, it could be seriously threatened. The species is found to be killed both accidentally and on purpose by locals in Oku (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011a), possibly being mistaken for snakes, and it may also be threatened by the use of agrochemicals (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012).
The first records of Bd in caecilians was confirmed, from the testing of 85 caecilians, in Cameroon (Doherty-Bone et al. 2013); and this species tested positive for Bd in two out of six individuals from Mount Oku (Gower et al. 2013).
A conservation project was conducted on Mount Oku for several years by BirdLife International, which involved community management of the area involving the local villages; however, the project ended in the mid-2000s (N. Gonwouo pers. comm. June 2012). In addition, the forest between the crater rim and the edge of Lake Oku is protected as a government Plantlife Sanctuary.
Additional survey work is needed to determine if this species occurs in this area (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b). Surveys elsewhere on Mount Oku are needed to better understand the species' distribution (Doherty-Bone et al. 2011b), as well as its natural history and threats. The systematic status of this species in relation to Crotaphatrema tchabalmbaboensis is uncertain as they could be the same species; more research is needed to clarify this relationship (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012).
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 49 km2, it occurs in one threat-defined location, there is ongoing persecution of this species, and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
The systematic status of this species in relation to Crotaphatrema tchabalmbaboensis is uncertain as they could be the same species; more research is needed to clarify this relationship (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Crotaphatrema lamottei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T59649A16957270. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T59649A16957270.en .Downloaded on 18 February 2019