|Date||12 Aug 2010|
Arthroleptis krokosua is the largest member of the genus Arthroleptidae from West Africa (Ernst et al., 2008) and also potential EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered) species, as it has no affiliations to any West African amphibian. All populations of the species, barely some estimated 20 individuals, are threatened with imminent extirpation due to encroachment of the species habitats for farming and, illegal logging activities by local communities.
Unfortunately, both local and global protection and conservation efforts for the species are hampered by the lack of sufficient information for its evaluation by IUCN and local government. Therefore, conservation interventions are planned within this project to meet the needs of the species without compromising the needs of locals who depend heavily on the frog’s habitat. First, with full involvement of local communities, information will be collected on the species population dynamics, health (chytrid fungus incidence) and distribution. Simultaneously and with this baseline information, extensive campaigns will be launched at Churches, Community forums and Schools to garner local support for the species protection. We will form conservation clubs named for the species, ‘Friends of Arthroleptis krokosua, FAK’, in local community schools targeting the youth and children. Additionally, with the objective to improve household incomes thus reducing locals’ dependence on the species’ habitats, capacity of selected locals will be built in Beekeeping and apiaries provided for them.
The project focuses on the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve (KHFR), the type locality of the species and the species potential ranges within other forest reserves. A. krokosua inhabits steep hills thus the preservation of KHFR which is one of the few highland ranges in Ghana is central to its conservation. With KHFR as its namesake, this frog serves as a locally important ‘flagship’ species. Therefore, protecting it will engender local support, and it will lead to broader conservation of the entire ecosystem in this reserve, particularly other species that are vulnerable to similar threats.
To maintain conservation initiatives far beyond the life of this project, we will establish trained site conservation groups, and we will help local representatives establish relationships with larger conservation agencies.
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