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Assessment Results

Platymantis insulatus

Gigantes Limestone Frog

Order: Anura Family: Ceratobatrachidae
Synonym(s): Platymantis insulata

Assessed for: Philippines   on: 05 Jun 2020   by: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop
Authors:
IUCN Global Red List: Critically Endangered (CR)
IUCN National Red List: (not assessed)
Distribution: Philippines
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score: 17.66915744
© 2010 Pierre Fidenci (1 of 2)

Recommended Conservation Actions:

Additional Comments:: Based on an assessment completed by AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop on 11 Aug 2019 (https://conservationneeds.org/Assessment/assessment?pageType=results&AssessmentID=2011&SpeciesID=4981&CountryID=137)

Question # Short Name Question Text Response Comments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Critically Endangered (CR)
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely Maybe gone extinct because of the high threats in the habitat like logging (Jakosalem). Gigantes is not a protected area (Diesmos). Possible reintroduced in mainland limestone in Panay. Only in one tiny island (Jakosalem).
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
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a well-managed or reliably protected area or areas? No / unlikely Distribution is very small. In the 2004 assessment, the species was known only from Gigante Sur, in the central Philippines. Bucol et al. (2010) reported the species on Gigante Norte and surveys in 2014 recorded the species on Balubadiang and Cabugao Dako Gigante island group, however surveys on other islands in the Gigante island group did not record the species (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). Its elevational range is sea level to 600 m asl and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 21 km2.
5 Habitat for reintroduction, conservation translocation or supplementation Does enough well-managed and reliably protected habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for conservation translocation, including population restoration or conservation introduction? Yes / probably
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 In situ conservation activities Are any in situ conservation actions currently in place for this species? (Only required if a Red List Assessment has not been completed, or if new actions have been implemented since the last Red List Assessment. (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.). No / unlikely Efforts are ongoing to increase protection and establish conservation measures in these islands, primarily due to the increase in tourism; the local government is aiming to declare the islands as a High Conservation Value area. In addition, the karst system on these islands is critical to the availability of freshwater to the human population, so protection of this habitat is also being addressed from a ecosystem services perspective.
8 In situ conservation activities Are additional in situ conservation actions required to help conserve this species in the wild (e.g. habitat restoration and/or protection, control of invasive species, national legislation etc.)? Yes / probably Managing and decreasing the impact of human encroachment in the cave systems, as well as reducing the destruction of karst forests, is critical to the survival of this species and could be achieved through establishing formal protected areas. In addition, restoration of the natural forest habitat and management of invasive plant species would be beneficial.
9 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Yes This species requires more field research conducted in the appropriate times of day and year — at least, I would argue, this is necessary before any increased threat level can be justifiably applied. Addition survey work is required to improve the understanding of the species population size, distribution and trends. There is a need for monitoring the population status of this species given the threats of mining and quarrying within its restricted range.
10 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 likely to be reversible in time frame to prevent further decline / extinction Species that retreat into limestone crevices have been shown repeatedly to do fine with complete removal of surface vegetation (precisely because they have a place to go when it gets hot an arid). We have made strong statements about limestone species conservation threats in the past and have been incorrect every time. Major threats are shifting agriculture, human encroachment of the forest over the limestone karst and caves, guano mining, and the quarrying of limestone. The latter two threats are especially detrimental to the habitat of this species. Tourism, cutting of trees are some the threats in the habitat (Diesmos).
11 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from 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
12 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? Unknown This species has survived at high densities and is commonly located (if surveys follow precipitation) at several sites in Gigantes. With only a handful of several-hours-long visits to the islands in the past decade, everything is conjecture (Brown). It is common on all four islands and abundant in appropriate atmospheric conditions (heavy rains). In fact, the 2014 surveys found the species to be more abundant than previously thought (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). However, due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing, and the species was found to be relatively less abundant in area with disturbed habitat (i.e. with non-native vegetation). As 100% of the population is spread across four islands between which there is no dispersal, it is considered to be severely fragmented.
13 Action plans Does an Action Plan for the species already exist, or is one currently being developed? Yes - completed
14 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
15 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
16 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.) e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science? No research dependent on this species
17 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
18 Ex situ conservation activities Is any ex situ research or other ex situ conservation action currently in place for this species? (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.) No / unlikely
19 Husbandry analog required If an ex situ rescue program is recommended for this species, would an analog species be required to develop husbandry protocols first? No / unlikely
20 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
21 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Not held in captivity to date
22 Conservation education/ecotourism potential Is the species especially diurnal, active or colourful, or is there an interesting or unusual aspect of its ecology that make it particularly suitable to be an educational ambassador for conservation of the species in the range country, either in zoos or aquariums or within ecotourism activities? No
23 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
24 Range State approval If an ex situ initiative was proposed for this species, would it be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
25 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate an ex situ program, if one was recommended? Yes / probably
26 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

Citation: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop. 2020. Conservation Needs Assessment for Platymantis insulatus, Philippines.
https://conservationneeds.org/(X(1)S(o2hy10vyfhssz5oqqunsz23i))/Assessment/AssessmentResults?assessmentId=5388&countryId=137&speciesId=4981. Accessed 22 Oct 2020