Population density, distribution and habitat association of Callulina shengena: An endemic frog species in the Eastern arc mountains

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Population density and habitat associations are fundamental aspects for conservation and management of wildlife species such as Callulina shengena. Being a Critically Endangered warty frog in the Eastern Arc Mountains, such vital information was missing and therefore demonstrated substandard conservation measures. Documented here are the information on population density, distribution, habitat traits, associations and threats with the aim of enhancing proper management of the C. shengena. Active searching was done in Chome Nature Forest Reserve in 12 plots during wet and dry seasons. Plots were searched thoroughly and when the species was encountered, the information about that site were recorded which included GPS location, altitude, percentage canopy cover, distance from water source, disturbance level, temperature and the amount rainfall. There was significant difference in population density of C. shengena between wet and dry seasons. Places that exhibited higher density of C. shengena had largely shady areas close to slowly moving fresh waters. Also the population density was higher in wet season suggesting that rainfall and temperature had influence on C. shengena distribution. It was found that C. shengena was highly distributed in the mid altitudes (1951 - 2050 m.a.s.l), of the western part of the forest where there was slow moving waters nearby. About 55% of C. shengena population was close to the forest boundary and this exposes C. shengena to higher chances of depopulation due to increased human activities in the forest, either legally or illegally. The Chome Nature Forest Reserve was observed to experience threats mainly from illegal logging, gold mining and human trails and the development of tourism activities. The government should put more emphasis on the societal knowledge about the resources and wildlife found in the reserve to maximize the conservation efforts to the protected areas.


Masters Thesis


Frog species, Population density, Distribution, Habitats, Eastern arc mountains