This species is known only from Mount Manengouba and the Rumpi Hills in western Cameroon, though its range is not well understood. Its altitudinal range on Mount Manengouba is from 1,300-1,750 m asl, and the single specimen from the Rumpi Hills was collected at 1,000 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 810 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species lives on the verges of fast-flowing streams in submontane forest and degraded secondary habitats, where several individuals may cluster together on rocks in the splash zone. On Mount Manengouba it lives at a higher altitude than W. merteniana, but at lower elevations than W. bambutensis. It breeds in streams by larval development.
This species was reported to be common on Mount Manengouba. However it has not been detected at Mount Manengouba since 2010 (post Bd emergence), but was recorded prior to that between 2005-2010 (Hirschfeld et al. 2016). It is still only known from a single specimen in Rumpi Hills (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm. July 2016). While not conclusively proven, the decline in this species is characteristic of observed declines in other montane amphibians in other regions caused by chytridiomycosis. With the lack of records within this species range, it is realistic to estimate that at least 80% of the population has declined over the last 10 years.
This species is presumably at risk from forest loss due to agricultural encroachment and human settlement.
A retrospective study analysing amphibian population declines (between 2004-2012) confirms the emergence of Bd in 2008 on Mount Oku and in 2011 on Mount Manengouba, suggesting that chytridiomycosis has driven community level declines of anuran biodiversity in this hotspot area (Hirschfeld et al. 2016). It was not possible to test this species for chytridiomycosis as no individuals could be located on Mount Manengouba (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm. July 2016). However, the recent apparent disappearance or near-disappearance of the species from Mount Manengouba, even in suitable habitat, is characteristic of a decline caused by chytridiomycosis.
This species may occur in the Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve, although this is not managed for biodiversity conservation.
Increased protection of the montane forest habitats in western Cameroon is rather urgently needed, particularly on Mount Manengouba. If any wild individuals can be located, ex-situ conservation programmes should be implemented, given the threat of Bd to this species.
Surveys are urgently required to locate these species in its known localities.
Red List Status
Listed as Critically Endangered because of an observed population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the past 10 years, suspected to be due to the impact of chytridiomycosis on this species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Werneria tandyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54896A96237674. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T54896A96237674.en