This species is known from mountain areas on Mindanao Island in the Philippines. New distributional records since the 2004 assessment include Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (Bukidnon Province), Malagos Watershed Area (Davao City), Cotabato Cordillera (provinces of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur), Layawan River (Misamis Occidental Province), Mt. Magdiwata in Agusan del Sur Province (Diesmos 2012). It is found between 100–1,000 m asl and probably ranges higher than this. One specimen has been recorded in the east of Mindanao, but identification is uncertain since a review of the variation of the species is now needed (Sanguila et al. 2016).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is known from lowland and submontane primary and secondary rainforest, where the adults are subterranean. It has also been recorded in agricultural plantations and flooded rice fields that are adjacent to remnant natural forest patches (Diesmos 2012). Individuals have usually been observed under rocks, decayed logs and debris, and in shallow pools of mountain streams, but also in soil beside irrigation ditches (Diesmos 2012). The larvae inhabit unpolluted streams, rivers and quiet pools near streams.
It is relatively abundant where it has been recorded, but is very localized and patchily distributed. The population trend is unknown.
Major threats observed include habitat conversion, slash-and-burn farming and run-off from mine tailings and agro-chemicals (Diesmos 2012). Forest clearing for agriculture and human settlements appears to have already claimed some subpopulations of this species (Diesmos 2012). It has occasionally been seen inside built structures such as concrete cisterns erected beside streams, and is sometimes caught in indigenous fish traps that are laid across creeks and rivers (Diesmos 2012). However, the information available suggests that it is fairly adaptable to habitat modification, and might not be significantly threatened, except in local situations. In some areas, this species is often killed as a result of mistaken identity for being a snake (Diesmos 2012).
The species occur in Mount Kitanglad Natural Park, Malagos Watershed Area, and Mount Apo Natural Park. These are relatively well protected and enforced areas.
Field studies should be complemented with public awareness programs that, apart from centering on the biological importance of these animals, must promote caecilians as bene cial and harmless animals.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats. Taxonomic work is needed to determine if this form is a complex of more than one species.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification and presumed large population.
Systematic studies of the taxonomic status of this species is warranted; records of caecilians from several localities on Mindanao Island still need to be properly identified.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Ichthyophis mindanaoensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T25390A114869665. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T25390A114869665.en .Downloaded on 22 January 2019