Phrynobatrachus asper
family: Phrynobatrachidae

© 2011 Eli Greenbaum (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species appears to be restricted to forests on the Itombwe Highlands in South Kivu Province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, between 2,400–2850 m Asl (Greenbaum and Kusamba 2012). In 2009, it was recorded near Mugegema village in the Itombwe Highlands between 2,675–2,749 m Asl (Greenbaum and Kusamba 2012), but surveys elsewhere in Itombwe have not found it (E. Greenbaum and A. Plumptre pers. comm. May 2012). Its EOO is 8,511 km2.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is known to live in swamps in montane forest, where it presumably breeds and reproduces by larval development. Within its range above 2,400 m Asl, around 50% is suitable forested habitat.


Where the species has been collected, it was not uncommon (E. Greenbaum pers. comm. May 2012). The population is suspected to be in decline as the forest habitat is being reduced and there is ongoing harvesting pressure (A. Plumptre and E. Greenbaum pers comm June 2012).

Population Trend


Major Threats

It is threatened by habitat loss for agricultural activities (crops and heavy livestock grazing, especially on Itombwe Plateau), wood extraction, and the expansion of human settlements. Artisanal mining is ongoing within the species' range. A road within the species range was planned for rehabilitation, which would allow the commercial mining of gold and coltan, and logging to take place (Greenbaum and Kusamba 2012). In addition, people are harvesting this frog from the forest for human consumption (Greenbaum and Kusamba 2012).

Individuals of this species have tested positive for Bd (Seimon et al. 2015), suggesting that chytridiomycosis could be a threat to this species although no mortalities or ill effects have been observed.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species very likely occurs in Itombwe Nature Reserve (E. Greenbaum pers. comm. December 2016).

Conservation Needed
A conservation education programme providing information to local people is required to better manage harvesting for consumption. 

Research Needed
Some estimates of impact from deforestation and harvesting are needed, and research is required to establish the species' population size, distribution and trends, and to better understand its ecology.

Red List Status

Vulnerable (VU)


Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 8,511 km2, it occurs in fewer than ten threat-defined locations and there is ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat in the Itombwe Highlands of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and there in ongoing decline in the number of mature individuals due to harvesting for human consumption.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Phrynobatrachus asper. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58094A16941633. .Downloaded on 20 February 2019


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