Beautiful Forest Toad (Churamiti maridadi)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 180518076
Saving Africa’s Beautiful Tree Toad (Churamiti maridadi; Bufonidae)
Churamiti maridadi is listed as ‘Critically Endangered' on the IUCN Red List, yet there is no conservation action in place because very little is known about the species. There have only been a handful of sightings since its discovery in 2002 (Channing and Stanley, 2002, Afr. J. Herpetol), with none in the last ten years. Suitable habitat (moist forest edges) in the area is extremely fragmented and C. maridadi has yet to be reported from other sites. The type locality however is a protected reserve and despite increases in agricultural activity, areas of suitable habitat remain giving reason to believe the species is still there. The Ukaguru mountains host at least 10 endemic vertebrates and large trees of the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAM; Burgess et al. 2007, Biol. Cons.) and the transition zone between forest and open habitat has been the focus of recent studies in the region in an effort to highlight their importance in terms of species richness.
We have gathered an international team of herepetolgists from 5 countries (Spain, Italy, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States of America) to try to find this elusive creature and to learn more about its natural history.