Hyperolius ruvuensis
Ruvu spiny reed frog
family: Hyperoliidae
Species Description: Barratt, Lawson and Loader, in Barratt CD. Lawson LP, Bittencourt- Silva GB, Doggart N, Morgan-Brown T, Nagel P, Loader SP. 2017. A new, narrowly distributed, and critically endangered species of spiny- throated reen frog (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from a highly threatened coastal forest reserve in Tanzania. Herpetological Journal 27:13-24
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Tanzania, United Republic of



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

Known only from the Ruvu South Forest Reserve in Tanzania at 230 m asl (Gwegime et al. 2013). It might occur more widely, but amphibian surveys throughout coastal Tanzania in the 1990s (Burgess and Clarke 1998) and surveys in forest reserves nearby in 2013-2014 (C. Barratt and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2014), have failed to find it suggesting the species is truly restricted (Barrett et al., in press). Based on current information, the species' range has been roughly mapped to the single locality where it was recorded by Frontier Tanzania in the early 2000s, and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is thus 10 km2 or less.

Habitat and Ecology

Ruvu South Forest Reserve is a small fragment of remaining coastal dry forest. The species is presumed to breed by larval development in small seasonal and permanent ponds.


The species is known from four specimens collected at a single site by Frontier Tanzania during a general biodiversity survey (S. Loader pers. comm. December 2014). Due to severe ongoing habitat loss, the species' population is presumed to be decreasing.

Population Trend


Major Threats

The Zanzibar-Inhambane forest has undergone severe deforestation (Burgess and Clarke 2000) and the trend has increased in severity over the past fifteen years (Gwegime et al. 2013). Gwegime et al. 2013 reported that forest loss is occurring at a rapid rate in Ruvu South Forest Reserve, where charcoal kilns were the most frequent disturbance type found there. Barrett et al. (in press) document specific habitat changes at the type locality that might explain its absence.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is only known from the Ruvu South Forest Reserve.

Conservation Needed

Increased protection of remaining forest is urgently required. Further research is needed on the species' population size, distribution and trends.

Red List Status

Critically Endangered (CR)


Listed as Critically Endangered as its extent of occurrence is limited to the 10 km2 of remaining coastal forest, it is known from a single threat-defined location, and there is ongoing and rapid decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in eastern Tanzania.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Hyperolius ruvuensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69119695A69123103. .Downloaded on 16 February 2019


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