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Assessment Results

© 2016 Daniel Portik (1 of 29 )

AmphibiaWeb species account

IUCN Red List assessment

Conservation Needs Assessment

Xenopus longipes ,   Lake Oku Clawed Frog
Assessed for:  Cameroon   on: 27 May 2017   by: Benjamin Tapley  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Anura     Family:   Pipidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Critically Endangered (CR)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     Cameroon  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   16.44189863 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   In Situ Conservation  , Conservation Education   
Additional Comments:    

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Critically Endangered (CR) Red List Assessment is out of date (over 10 years old). The rational for this extinct risk remains unchanged.
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No, unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). ED value 20 - 50
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? Yes, probably The only known population is in Lake Oku. Most of the Lake is within the boundaries of the Kilum ljim wildlife sanctuary. The lake itself is not currently subject to any formal management and is vulnerable to a number of anthropogenic threats.
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for potential reintroduction or translocation? No, unlikely Only supplementation possible.
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats are reversible in time frame There is a working action plan for Lake Oku. Current threats to Lake Oku and its ecology include, fish introduction (invasive alien species); novel pathogens being introduced from outside (invasive alien species); Runoff of vehicle oils and other chemicals from road (pollution); Visitors to the lake throwing rubbish into and around the lake (pollution); Degradation of the forest by livestock (habitat change); Degradation of the forest by building constructions (habitat change); Degradation of the forest by wood cutting (habitat change). Potential threats to the lake include: Changes to the temperature, rainfall or other aspects of climate and the collections of plants and animals for commercial purposes (over exploitation). Many of these threats can be reversed or prevented by raising awareness and appropriate management of the protected area and the lake's watershed.
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from unsustainable collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No, unlikely
9 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Yes, probably
10 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within its Class (e.g. Amphibia, Reptilia etc.)? Aspect of biology shared with < 6 other species The Lake Oku clawed frog has 12 sets of chromosomes, so is dodecaploid.
11 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
12 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within its Class (e.g. Amphibia, Reptilia etc.)? Research dependent upon < 6 species (incl. this taxon) Frogs of the genus Xenopus are a major contributor to biomedical, genetic, and biological research. These frogs exhibit dodecaploidy which makes them of great interest to evolutionary biologists.
13 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No Historically this was the case. Aspects of reproductive biology have now been described based on captive observations. The tadpole has also been described. There is still more to learn, but in situ conservation is not dependent on ex situ research.
14 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? No
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully maintained and bred in captivity? Yes, bred to F2 This species has been bred without the aid of assisted reproductive techniques to the F2 generation at ZSL London Zoo although specific breeding triggers are not fully understood. See Michaels, C.J., Tapley, B., Harding, L., Bryant, Z., Grant, S., Sunter, G., Gill, I., Nyingchia, O. and Doherty-Bone, T., 2015. Breeding and rearing the Critically Endangered Lake Oku Clawed Frog (Xenopus longipes Loumont and Kobel 1991). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, 9(2), pp.100-110. Tapley, B., Michaels, C., Harding, L., Bryant, Z., Gill, I., Grant, S., Chaney, N., Dunker, F., Freiermuth, B., Willis, J. and Blackburn, D., 2016. Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group Best Practice Guidelines for the Lake Oku frog Xenopus longipes Version. Tapley, B., Michaels, C.J. and Doherty-Bone, T.M., 2015. The tadpole of the Lake Oku clawed frog Xenopus longipes (Anura; Pipidae). Zootaxa, 3981(4), pp.597-600. Contact details ben.tapley@zsl.org
16 Educational potential Is the species especially diurnal/active/colourful and therefore suited to be an educational ambassador for conservation of this group of species? Yes Active and diurnal and can be used to educate people on amphibian declines and the role of the ex situ community in amphibian conservation.
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? Yes This species is Critically Endangered; the IUCN Technical Guidelines for the Management of Ex situ Populations recommends ex situ populations for all Critically Endangered species.
18 Range State approval Would a proposed ex situ initiative for this species be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes, probably Permits have been issued for the export of these frogs.
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? Yes, probably
20 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes

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