Mitigating Biodiversity Extinctions in Ghana: The Case of Hyperolius Bobirensis Started in 2013
The Bobiri reed frog (Hyperolius bobirensis) may be silently heading towards extinction. The frog is known to occur in three forest in Ghana namely Bobiri forest, where it was first described, Ankasa and Atewa forests’. Recent herpetological surveys in southern Ghana did not record the frog in its type locality (Bobiri forest) and in the Ankasa National park only a single juvenile was recorded.
Although destruction of riparian vegetation is a known cause of species endangerment worldwide, the enigmatic declines of the species in protected areas (Ankasa National park) pre-empt a looming crisis. We are of the impression that there maybe some other novel drivers (possibly diseases) of the species declines.
This project is aimed at understanding the threats faced by this frog and other frogs occuring in its range.
HerpGhana is working tirelessly to raise issue-specific awareness of the plight of amphibians in fringe communities to instigate the goodwill of community members for amphibian conservation. Specifically, we are currently surveying for the frog in it historical sites (Bobiri&Atewa Forest Reserves and Ankasa National Park) and some trace of the species have been identified so far in Atewa Range Forest.
The project is met with high enthusiasm from key stakeholders in the surrounding communities because we adopted participatory and/or collaborative approach to achieve the following objectives
- to investigate whether the amphibian chytrid fungus is contributing to the decline of H. bobirensis,
- to determine the current population, distribution and habitat associations H. bobirensis,
- to instigate positive behaviour change in forest fringe communities and
- to build capacity of students in amphibian research and identification protocols.
Results of this work are critical in completing the first Amphibian Conservation Action Plan for Ghana. We will take advantage of our extensive exploration to collect information on most at risk amphibian species in southern Ghana including Phrynobatrachus liberensis, P.ghanensis, P. alleni.