Organisation: Project Palaka
Project focus: Establishing the first assurance colony for the island endemic Gigantes Wrinkled Ground Frog in the Philippines
Location: University of Philippines, Luzon & Gigantes Islands
Project date: September 2020 to August 2021
Species: Gigante Wrinkled Ground Frog Platymantis insulatus
Supported by: Fondation Segré
The Gigantes Wrinkled Ground Frog Platymantis insulatus is only found on the relatively remote Gigantes Islands, which sit within the larger Western Visayas archipelago in the Philippines. The frog lives in limestone karst forests and caves and is under threat from habitat changes. Guano mining and quarrying of limestone are particularly detrimental.
Because of the remote location of the species and time it takes to get to Gigantes, the population dynamics of species are relatively unknown. As far as we know, there is not any active conservation for the species. So little is known about the frog, it is difficult to know exactly what conservation actions are needed. However, it does not look likely that the threats to habitat will subside any time soon and so an approach that incorporates ex situ conservation appears appropriate.
Project Palaka had secured funding from Amphibian Ark to set up a conservation breeding centre for the project but needed additional funding to cover field activities and ensure continued protection for the species. Given how little is known about the species, there was an urgent need to gather more information on the population status, habitat availability and current threats in order to develop and establish a holistic conservation action plan.
ASAP, along with Synchronicity Earth and Amphibian Ark, are supporting Project Palaka to run the first conservation project that focuses on the Gigantes Wrinkled Ground Frog. The project will:
- Conduct field work to find out population status and assess the habitat and threats
- Establish an assurance colony
- Develop a conservation action plan for the species integrating in situ and ex situ conservation
- Create ex situ care manuals for reptiles and amphibians endemic to Philippines
- Develop capacity and long-term interest with undergraduate students from University of Philippines Los Banos in Philippine herpetofauna conservation
The ASAP Species Rapid Action Fund is supported by:
Image credits: Project Palaka