AMPHIBIAWEB
Phrynobatrachus kinangopensis
family: Phrynobatrachidae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Kenya

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Summary

P. kinangopensis is a small anuran endemic to the East African montane moorlands and East African montane forests ecoregions, strictly limited to occurrence in Kenya. Breeding occurs in rain-filled temporary pools in montane grassland and moorland. Although this taxon is known to occur in two separate Kenyan National Parks, there are threats to the Kinangop River Frog from expanding human population pressures, agricultural land conversion, overgrazing and deforestation by native peoples.


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Etymology

This species was named for the Kinangop Pleateau in Kenya, which lies between the Kenyan Rift Valley to the west and the Aberdare Mountains to the east.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Distribution

P. kinangopensis is found in the East African montane moorlands and East African montane forests ecoregion, and is restricted to Kenya (Hogan, 2013). This anuran is restricted to the Kenyan Highlands east of the Rift Valley. It is known from the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya, south to Nairobi. The taxon occurs up to 3100 metres above sea level (Msuya et al. 2004).


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Morphology

Nostrils are equidistant from the eye to the tip of the snout. The tibio-tarsal articulation may reach the tympanum (Angel, 1924). Pedal webbing is moderate to extensive with 1-2 phalanges free of webbing on digit IV (Zimkus et al., 2012). A dark band is present from the nostrils to the typanum, and a silvery streak may border it. Dorsal asperities are present in both sexes. The underside has "fine, dark, even stippling over the throat and abdomen" (Channing and Howell, 2006). Sexually mature males have small, white asperities on the posterior half of the body, and the throat is speckled.


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Size

Snout-vents of the type material ranged from 14 to 19 mm(Angel, 1924). Channing and Howell (2006) report that males reach up to 19 mm, while females are up to 24 mm in length.


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

P. kinangopensis is associated with rain-filled temporary pools in montane grassland, where it is thought to breed (Msuya et al., 2004). The grasslands above 3000 metres in elevation are generally montane moorlands, which also have an assembly of herbaceous species and are lacking of true trees (Hogan, 2013). The grasslands below 3000 metres in elevation are generally clearings in the montane forests.


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Associations

P. kinangopensis is recorded only in the East African montane moorlands and the East African montane forests ecoregion. The following text will review not only true associate anurans to P. kinangopensis, but also endemics to the restricted geographic ecoregion of the East African montane moorlands. The Kenya River frog (Phrynobatrachus keniensis) is endemic to the Kenyan portion of the ecoregion, and is an associate within the same range. The Molo Frog (A. wittei), is an associate found chiefly in the Kenyan central highlands along the Mau Escarpment, in the Aberdare Mountains, and on Mount Kenya. The Marsabit Clawed Frog (Xenopus borealis) is a near endemic anuran associate, which is also found in the upper elevations of the East African montane forests ecoregion. The Tigoni Reed Frog (Hyperolius cystocandicans) is a Vulnerable near endemic associate, found only in Kenya in this ecoregion and the adjacent East African montane forests. Other associate amphibians present in the East African montane moorlands ecoregion include the Subharan Toad (Amietophrynus xeros), Cape River Frog (Amietia fuscigula), Senegal Running Frog (Kassina senegalensis), Common Reed Frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus), and Keith's Toad (Amietophrynus kerinyagae (Hogan, 2013).


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Phylogenetics

Mitochodrial sequence data from 12S rRNA, valine-tRNA, and 16S rRNA fragment, as well as combined sequence data from mitochondrial and nuclear (RAG-1) genes indicate that P. kinangopensis is the sister species of group that contains the West African species P. tokba, P. intermedius and P. liberiensis (Zimkus et al., 2010).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Trends

The IUCN regards the population trend of this species as fundamentally unknown as of 2004 (Msuya et al., 2004). However, more recent ecological and hydrological analyses suggest that human population pressures, agricultural land conversion, overgrazing and deforestation by indigenous peoples are placing downward pressure on this species (Hogan, 2013).


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Threats

Local populations of P. kinangopensis are expected to suffer ongoing pressure by livestock overgrazing by and smallholder agriculture (Msuya et al. 2004). It is possible that reduction of moisture at higher elevations can be expected in the same fashion as at Mount Kilimanjaro, as suggested by Pepin et al. (2010) and also by Hogan (2013). This moisture reduction is generally driven by the ongoing deforestation associated with the smallholder agricultural land conversion and slash and burn activity at lower elevations.


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

P. kinangopensis is endemic to Kenya and is found only at Mount Kenya and Aberdares National Parks (Msuya et al., 2004).


Author: Hogan, C.Michael
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/