New Localities, Distribution and Habitat Modeling of the Critically Endangered Sri Lankan Frog Nannophrys marmorata

Kanishka D. B. Ukuwela, Imesh Nuwan Bandara, H. K. Sameera De Zoysa, U. A. L. Deshan Rupasinghe, Rajnish P. G. Vandercone


Nannophrys marmorata is a critically endangered species of frog known only from a few locations in the Knuckles Conservation Forest (KCF) in the Knuckles mountain range of Sri Lanka. Here, we report new localities outside its known range in the KCF and examine the distribution of N. marmorata providing the most extensive distribution map for this species. Furthermore, using the distribution information, we model the fundamental ecological niche of this species through Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) to predict suitable habitats and fine-scale distribution patterns. ENM predicted eastern slopes of the Knuckles mountain range in central Sri Lanka as areas with high habitat suitability (suitability >75%) for N. marmorata. Predicted Extent of Occurrence for N. marmorata was 831 km2 and predicted Area of Occupancy was 275 km2. We discuss these findings in light of conservation for this species threatened with extinction.


Area of Occupancy; Conservation; DNA barcoding; Ecological Niche modeling; Extent of Occurrence; MAXENT; VRR Sanctuary

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