Reptiles & Amphibians

The majority of species were closely related to forest habitats (19 frog species, 9 reptile species). Additionally, 13 amphibian and one reptile species were also related to forests, but they are tolerant of farmbush habitats. The remaining 11 amphibians and three reptiles comprised of purely savanna, grassland and farmbush species. None of these species is currently considered to be threatened, although IUCN classification is incomplete.

Genetic analyses identified two specimens of the genus Phrynobatrachus as a cryptic species new to science. This species probably is endemic to the area and therefore is likely to be threatened based on its small distribution range. The spectacular finding of the Critically Endangered forest Tai toad Amietophrynus taiensis, that so far was thought to be endemic to the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, furthermore highlights the extremely high potential of the project zone for conservation (Hillers 2009). More research is likely to discover further surprises, including more species new to Sierra Leone or to science in general. Very high species richness, similar to the most diverse forests in south-western Côte d’Ivoire and south-eastern Guinea is not unlikely. The project area is therefore crucial in protecting its important forest habitat diversity and for guaranteeing the persistence of the regional biodiversity of the Upper Guinean forests. In addition, one reptile (African dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis) is listed as Vulnerable.