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Boulenger’s Backpack Frog (Cryptobatrachus boulengeri)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 162514563

Conservation status of backpack frogs of the genus Cryptobatrachus (Hemiphractidae): species delimitation and geographic distribution

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 162514563) - Boulenger’s Backpack Frog - Awarded $8,000 on February 18, 2017

Amongst amphibians, anurans are supposed to be well known, however some species of singular uniqueness in several traits of their life history, such as backpack frogs genus Cryptobatrachus, have received minimal attention, resulting in an incipient knowledge of their species limits, geographical distribution, and conservation status.

Backpack frogs are nearly endemic to Colombia, with one species from Sierra de Perijá in Venezuela. These frogs are restricted to humid spray areas of small waterfalls on Andean montane streams protected by forests. Because their habitat specialization, deforestation around streams has been identified as a major threat for the genus.

During the first amphibian assessment for Colombia (2004), the three known Crytobatrachus at that time were included in the IUCN Red List: C. fuhrmanni Vulnerable, C. boulengeri Endangered, and C. nicefori Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). The later, also included as Critically Endangered in the Libro Rojo de Anfibios de Colombia. Currently, the genus includes six or seven species, based on the validity or rejection of C. nicefori as a valid species.

Despite the recently description of new species for this genus, no studies have been aimed to update their conservational and to identify priority areas for the conservation of these and other amphibian species in this Hotspot of biodiversity. Our project intends to provide information regarding species diversity, geographical distribution, and conservation status of backpack frogs in Colombia.

Project document