Table of Contents
ISRN Zoology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 212491, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/212491
Research Article

Natural History Observations on a Warty Frog: Callulina dawida (Amphibia: Brevicipitidae) in the Taita Hills, Kenya

Section of Herpetology, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Received 16 November 2011; Accepted 26 December 2011

Academic Editors: B. I. Crother, P. V. Lindeman, T. Miyata, A. Robins, T. H. Struck, and B. E. Washburn

Copyright © 2012 Patrick K. Malonza. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Amphibian populations are declining throughout the world, but most of the susceptible species possess particular biological attributes. Understanding these traits plus the environmental factors responsible for declines greatly aids conservation prioritization and planning. This paper examines the natural history observations and ecological characteristics of Callulina dawida, a frog endemic to the montane forests of the Taita Hills, Kenya. Sampling was accomplished by use of standardized pitfall trapping, transects, and time-limited searches. Mean monthly temperature and elevation significantly influenced the species distribution and abundance but mean monthly rainfall did not. The species was rare or absent during the cold season and its abundance increased with elevation. Breeding occurred during the long dry season (June to October) with juveniles being abundant between January and March. Available evidence shows that this species deposits a cluster of large yolk-rich eggs on the forest floor with maternal care and direct development. Its occurrence only within highly fragmented indigenous forests makes the species worth listing as critically endangered. To conserve this species, all remaining indigenous forest fragments including those communally or privately owned should be preserved and connected through planting of indigenous trees along stream valleys. In addition, the exotic tree plantations should be replaced with indigenous trees to restore the species habitat.