Facts
  • The Seychelles
  • One of the smallest species of frog in the world – fully grown adults are just 11 mm in length.
  • The Seychelles is the only island group with its own endemic family of frogs – the Seychelles microcontinent split from India isolating the ancestral Seychelles frogs at least 65 million years ago, and they are separated from their closest relative, the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis), by over 120 million years of evolution.
  • The tiny froglets that hatch from their eggs crawl onto the back of the male where they become glued on by mucus. These froglets are then carried on the male’s back until they have used up all of their yolk reserves and their legs are fully developed.
  • Only found on Mahé Island and Silhouette Island in the Seychelles where it lives both on the ground in forest litter and on low vegetation in leaf axils.
Threats
  • Land clearance for agriculture, human settlement, timber and tourism within the habitat range of this species.
  • Habitat degradation due to fire.
  • Invasive species found on Mahé Island and Silhouette Island where the species is found.
  • Gardiner’s Seychelles frog is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species because it is known from fewer than five locations on the two islands of Mahé and Silhouette combined.
Conservation Required
  • Working with local environmental organisations to monitor wild populations and protect them from factors such as invasive species and habitat destruction.
  • Funding an EDGE Fellow to collect more data on the population ecology, behaviour and threats to this species because so little is currently known – this information can then be used to create a Conservation Action Plan.


Proposed Actions

EDGE would like to work with environmental organisations within the Seychelles to protect these four frog species from invasive species and other forms of habitat destruction.

The Seychelles frogs are some of the smallest frog species in the world; one species, Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, grows to just 11 mm in length. This group, which is found on just two islands in the Seychelles group (Mahé and Silhouette),has no tadpole stage in development, and the tiny froglets which emerge straight from the eggs crawl onto the back of the male where they are glued on by mucus. The froglets are carried on the male’s back until they have used all their yolk reserves and their legs are fully developed.  Threats to the Seychelles frogs include habitat destruction from land clearance for agriculture, human settlement, timber and tourism, fire and invasive plant and animal species. The four species of Seychelles frog are all classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

EDGE, working alongside local environmental organisations, will protect the Seychelles frogs from further habitat destruction, and implement habitat restoration where possible.  EDGE would like to fund an aspiring conservationist to increase the knowledge of the Seychelles frogs, studying aspects of the group in more detail, including the population ecology, behaviour and threats to the species.  This information can then be included in a Conservation Action Plan.

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