Conservation of Two Critically Endangered Frog Species in the Forest Zone of South Western Ghana 2010
Two endemic Ghanaian frogs are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and restricted geographical range. The species, Phrynobatrachus intermedius is known and described from only two adult females and one juvenile form whilst Phrynobatrachus jukwaensis, is restricted to a three-hectare forest fragment in the moist evergreen forest type of Ghana.
This project has boost the chances of survival of these species from extinction by determining and mapping their exact geographical ranges for conservation planning and involvement of local communities in species protection, habitat restoration and management. Four main strategic activities were used within the project, these include:
1. Education and capacity building;
2. Habitat restoration and extension;
3. Development of conservation guidelines;
4. Field surveys.
Conservation education and capacity building were tailored to meet local training needs by enlightening rural people to halt all known causes of decline to these species and to benefit from alternative livelihood choices whilst reducing their dependence on the forest.
Concurrently, native trees were be planted together with the local people to restore and extend the habitat of Phrynobatrachus jukwaensis whilst providing breeding sites for several other threatened species. In addition to our enrichment planting and afforestation activities, we facilitated the drafting of conservation guidelines using participatory approach for the local communities.
These have indeed provided clear modalities for specific interventions on the species conservation based on the findings of our field studies and a proposed community based eco-tourism project. Feedbacks from the communities show great improvement of their conservation efforts to safeguard the species and the ecosystem.
To understand the distributional ranges of these and other threatened species, we undertook a robust survey of amphibians in the high forest zone of Ghana with emphasis on endemic and endangered species using visual and acoustic survey techniques. We mapped species location using Global Positioning System (GPS) and produce distribution maps of these species for conservation planning. This information has been critical and/or useful in drafting the first Amphibian Conservation Action Plan for Ghana (ACAP).