This species is known only from highland areas of western Cameroon, in particular from Mount Manengouba and the Bamileke and Bamenda Plateaus. Specific localities include Mount Manengouba (1,900 m asl), the Mifi-Noun River near Galim (1,100 m asl), Mbouda (1,400 m asl), Tadu (near Mount Oku), Ber, Nkoutoupi, Nchoupa, and Bangourain. It is probable that individuals from Manengole (600–700 m asl) and Bangwa (1,400–1,500 m asl) belong to this species, but it is believed to be a species complex, so these localities require revision (M.O. Rödel pers. comm. June 2012). There is also a subpopulation in the northen mountains of Cameroon that resembles this species, however it is likely to be a new, undescribed species and further research is required (V. Gvoždík pers. comm. June 2017). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10,901 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is water-dependent and has been found in a shallow crater lake overgrown with grass, in a swamp, and in artificial fishponds. These are generally situated in areas of montane grassland and pastureland. It breeds in still water and, outside the breeding seasons, migrates for short distances over land. Habitat is gradually declining in extent and quality.
This species has been found to be abundant at least on Mount Manengouba and at Galim. It is probably generally abundant in the Cameroonian highlands. As it is a water-dependent species, restricted to high elevations, its entire population is believed to be severely fragmented. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat and the utilization of this species for food, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
This species is harvested locally and some of its habitats might be under threat from expanding agriculture, overgrazing by livestock, and human settlements. However, it does appear to be capable of colonizing artificial habitats, and it can co-exist with some introduced fish species. Given that the taxonomy is unclear, harvesting and other human-caused threats may have a massive impact on local subpopulations (N. Gonwouo, M. Hirschfeld and M. Barej pers. comm. June 2012). Furthermore, on Mount Manengouba, the use of herbicides and pesticides here is suspected to have long-term effects on the stream habitat, affecting the larval stage, and this threat is expected to increase as human activity in the area increases (N. Gonwouo pers. comm. June 2012).
A retrospective study analysing amphibian population declines (between 2004-2012) and Bd emergence (in 2008) on Mount Manengouba and Mount Oku in Cameroon suggest that chytridiomycosis has driven community level declines of anuran biodiversity in this hotspot area (Hirschfeld et al. 2016). This species was not tested for Bd during Hirschfeld et al. (2016) study so it is not known whether chytridiomycosis is a threat, but other species (unnamed) in the genus had mixed results and individuals from the northwestern highlands of Cameroon tested negative for Bd in the study by Doherty-Bone et al. (2008).
This species does not occur in any protected areas.
The protected area network in western Cameroon urgently needs to be expanded to include the remaining montane forest habitats, particularly those on Mount Manengouba, which has been proposed as a protected area (N. Gonwouo pers. comm. May 2012).
More information is needed on this species' taxonomy, distribution, population status, natural history, and threats.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10,901 km2, it occurs in less than 10 threat-defined locations and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat.
This species is a tetraploid species (Kobel et al. 1980).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Xenopus amieti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T58168A16929588. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T58168A16929588.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019