This species is thought to be endemic to southwestern Ethiopia where it is known from four sites in the regions of Gambella, Oromia, and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, spanning an altitudinal range of approximately 1,500-2,200 m asl (Largen et al. 1972). The limits of its range are unknown and it is uncertain whether the species occurs more widely, but this is possible given its altitudinal range and the available forest habitat in southwestern and western Ethiopia. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 31,341 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is known only from tropical deciduous forest where adults live in soil or mud and beneath leaf-litter; its larvae have been found in very wet mud at the edge of a stream (Largen et al. 1972). All other caecilians that have larvae lay eggs, but none have been reported for this species.
Verified reports of this species in the scientific literature are based on 32 specimens collected between 1967-1971 (Largen et al. 1972). The area was not surveyed for caecilians for nearly forty years until 2006. No specimens were found during at least 10 days of searching for this species at historical localities between 2006-2011 (S. Loader and D. Gower pers. comm. December 2015), but specimens from two new localities (Bonga and Bedelle) were reported on the Internet (http://www.ethiopia-herpetology.com/sylvacaecilia.html).
There are no known major threats to African caecilian species, but assuming that soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation is important for the species there are possible threats from human activity within the species' range. These threats are similar to those in other parts of western Ethiopia and include ongoing habitat disturbance and conversion caused by forest clearance, expanding human settlement, and small and large-scale agricultural encroachment (including the application of agricultural herbicides and pesticides), but it is not known to what extent these activities threaten this species (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015).
It is found in the UNESCO-MAB Kafa Biosphere Reserve, but is not currently known from any other protected areas.
Additional protection of remaining montane forest habitats from subsistence exploitation is required.
Further research is needed on its population status and trends, life history and ecology, the effect of ongoing threats on the species, and necessary conservation actions.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Sylvacaecilia grandisonae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59598A16944802. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T59598A16944802.en .Downloaded on 18 November 2018