Saving the Critically Endangered intermediate puddle frog in Ghana

Francis Osei-Gyan

The intermediate puddle frog (Phrynobatrachus intermedius) is an evolutionarily distinct and Critically Endangered frog endemic to the Ankasa conservation area, a key biodiversity site in southwestern Ghana. It occurs in a single sub-population and because of this there is growing fear that any stochastic event could wipe out the entire global population. The quality of the frog's habitat is in constant decline. This loss of habitat quality is caused by the illegal extraction of raffia palm from the frog's riparian habitat to feed a growing furniture industry, as well as upstream water pollution by local farmers. Worst, information required to make informed management decisions is non-existent.

This project will reduce threats to the extinction of this species and provide information required for urgent conservation planning. Specifically, we will implement a time-tested behaviour change program in ten communities aimed at reducing illegal logging (raffia) and poisoning of the aquatic system. Also, we will survey ten forest sites, including the Ankasa conservation area and adjoining areas, to determine the species distribution and concurrently collect both landscape and habitat quality predictor variables. Important outcomes of this project include improved habitat conditions; a species conservation action plan; and enhanced understanding of both the distribution and habitat requirements of this Critically Endangered frog.