Thursday, February 6, 2014

[Herpetology • 2005] The Amphibians of the forested parts of south-western Ghana


Fig. 2. Geotrypetes seraphini occidentalis from Draw River Forest Reserve.
Fig. 3. Dorsal (above) aspect of Aubria subsigillata from Boi-Tano Forest Reserve.
Fig. 4. Unnamed Astylosternus species from Ankasa Conservation Area.

Abstract
We investigated the herpetofauna of four forests, designated as Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas in the Western Region, Ghana. We recorded a total of 47 amphibian species, among them the first country records for the genera Acanthixalus and Phlyctimantis, as well as new taxa within the genera Arthroleptis and Astylosternus. The species Acanthixalus sonjae was so far only known from Ivory Coast. Phrynobatrachus ghanensis and Hyperolius bobirensis are reported for the first time outside of the Kakum and Bobiri forest reserves, respectively. We comment on and illustrate these and other less known species. Most of the recorded species were either endemic to West Africa or even smaller parts of the Upper Guinean forest block.

The relatively high diversity, and/or unique species composition with respect to regional endemicity, documented during our surveys, clearly demonstrates that the western Ghanaian forests, although already highly fragmented, still have a high potential for nature conservation. However, we also documented several invasive species (e.g. Bufo maculatus, Bufo regularis, Hoplobatrachus occipitalis, Phrynobatrachus accraensis, Afrixalus fulvovittatus), normally not occurring in forest habitats. These species clearly indicate significant alteration of the original forest habitats by means of unsustainable forest use. The relatively high diversity of western Ghanaian amphibian communities and their unique composition is a further hint towards the existence of a Pleistocene forest refugium in south-western Ghana.

Key words: Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Anura: conservation, faunistics, forest, south-western Ghana, taxonomy.

Fig. 6. a. Juvenile Acanthixalus sonjae (SVL 24 mm) from Ankasa Conservation Area;
b. Hyperolius bobirensis from Ankasa Conservation Area;
c. Hyperolius cf. fusciventris lamtoensis female from Ankasa Conservation Area (SVL 47 mm);
d. Hyperolius laurenti from Draw River Forest Reserve.

MARK-OLIVER RÖDEL, MARLON GIL, ALEX CUDJOE AGYEI, ADAM D. LEACHÉ, RAUL E. DIAZ, MATTHEW K. FUJITA & RAFFAEL ERNST. 2005. The Amphibians of the forested parts of south-western Ghana. SALAMANDRA. 41(3); 107-127 

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