This species is known only from the northern part of Pemba Island, Tanzania, where it has been recorded from three localities: Machengwe Swamp; Wete; and Ngezi Forest Reserve. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 317 km2, and it is known from fewer than five threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
It has been recorded from forest and forest fringes, and has not been found in severely disturbed habitats. It breeds in pools, marshes, puddles and roadside ditches in and near tropical evergreen lowland forest.
It is a common species in Ngezi Forest Reserve. It is not clear if it survives elsewhere on the island and intensive surveys have not yet been carried out. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
There is an almost complete loss of indigenous broadleaf lowland forest in Pemba, largely for agriculture, which is likely to affect the population of this species. There has also been widespread introduction of clove trees throughout the island, and this species seems not to be present in clove thicket. It is now intrinsically at risk because of the small size of its remaining distribution.
It occurs in the Ngezi Forest Reserve, which protects the last remaining stand of indigenous rainforest on the island.
Continued management and protection of this forest reserve is essential to the long-term survival of this species.
Further survey work is needed to determine whether the species still survives elsewhere on Pemba.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because, although it can withstand a limited degree of habitat modification, its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 317 km2, it occurs in fewer than five locations, and the quality and extent of its forest habitat on Pemba is declining.
It has been suggested that this species is a synonym of Phrynobatrachus acridoides, but recent surveys indicate that it differs both in vocalizations and ecology (M. Pickersgill pers. comm.). Phrynobatrachus nigripes, described by Pickersgill (2007), is in fact a synonym of this species (M. Pickersgill pers. comm.).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Phrynobatrachus pakenhami. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58130A87854253. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T58130A87854253.en .Downloaded on 17 January 2019