Inventory and Morphometrics of Anuran Species Found in Mt. Kilala of the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, Philippines

Kemberly C. Vidal1, Edison D. Macusi1,2,3*, and Amy G. Ponce1

1Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IALS), Davao Oriental State
College of Science and Technology (DOSCST), Mati City, Davao Oriental
2Regional Integrated Coastal Resources Management Center (RIC-XI),
Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST), Mati City, Davao Oriental
3Aquaculture and Fisheries Group, Wageningen University & Research
P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Mt. Kilala is part of Mt Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary located in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, Philippines, which hosts diverse and endemic species of flora and fauna – including amphibians. This inventory of anuran species yielded eight species of anurans that belong to six families. The highest species richness recorded was D=1.010 and species diversity was H'=1.73, which was moderately high, with 48 individual captures recorded in Site 1 (198 masl). The other two sites only yielded two captures in total despite spending 54 person-hours in search of anurans. The most number of anuran species encountered preferred the aquatic microhabitat. Also, the body size of anurans was a better predictor than its weight for the type of habitat it will occupy. The study recorded one Southeast Asia endemic species, two Philippine endemic species, and four Mindanao island endemic species. Most of these species found were located in the aquatic microhabitat that favors reproduction and development. The differences in their relative abundance are a reflection of the species tolerance limits to their habitats. Included in the inventory of species are Megophrys stejnegeri (Taylor, 1920) and Limnonectes magnus (Stejneger, 1909), which were identified as Mindanao island endemic with vulnerable conservation status in the IUCN red list. The advertised calls of various anurans were from four different species, namely: Kalophrynus sinensis (Peters, 1867), Limnonectes leytensis (Boettger, 1893), Polypedates leucomystax (Gravenhorst, 1829), and Staurois natator (Günther, 1859). Specific call parameters make the vocalization of each species unique. This study, along with other literature, confirms that higher elevation sites harbor fewer anuran species. The occurrence of a high number of endemic and vulnerable anuran species in the area indicates the need for practical conservation and protection measures, which include zoning for access and no access parts in the buffer zone – especially those that harbor aquatic habitats.



Anurans are considered as one of the most diverse and threatened taxa in the tropical ecosystem. The Philippine anuran fauna consist mostly of the orders Anura and Gymnophiona with the exclusion of Caudata. At present, there are approximately 110 species of anurans in 23 genera of eight families of anurans in the Philippines (Brown et al. 2012). Anurans are considered indicator species in the ecosystem (Plaza & Sanguila 2015; Verdade et al. 2010) because they possess highly permeable skin that is sensitive to environmental stressors such as sudden change in temperature and toxic chemicals (Gonzalez et al., 2004). The population status of anurans is an important indicator of health status of the forest ecosystem as these amphibians are sensitive to environmental change. Moreover, anurans play a vital role in the trophic food chain by serving as prey for predators and food for humans (Cortés-Gomez et al. 2015; Hocking & Babbitt 2014). They are ecologically important as they reduce the population of disease carrying insects such as flies and mosquitoes, thus protecting humans from potential diseases. They also have vital functions in nutrient cycling through waste excretion, direct and indirect pollination, and seed dispersal . . . . read more



ALCALA AC, BROWN WC. 1998. Philippine Amphibians: An Illustrated Field Guide. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark, Inc.
ALCALA AC, BUCOL AA, DIESMOS AC, BROWN RM. 2012. Vulnerability of Philippine Amphibians to Climate Change. Philipp. J Sci. 141(1): 77–78.
AMOROSO VB. 2000. Status, species richness and ecosystem diversity in Mindanao Islands. Paper presented at the “Saving the Hottest of the Hotspots.” Proceedings of the National Biodiversity Conservation Priority-Setting Workshop, Mindanao Regional Consultation Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City, Philippines.
AMPHIBIAWEB. 2011. Species Account Guideline. Retrieved from on 27 Feb 2017.  
ASCANO CP, ALBUTRA QB, ANSIGBAT VV, MUGOT DA, PAZ SL, DEMAYO CG. 2015. An inventory of anuran species within and outside the hydraulicking mining area. Adv Environ. Biol. 9(25): 32–37.
ATES FB, DELIMA EM. 2008. Assemblage and Microhabitats of Anurans from Mt. Sinaka, Arakan, Cotabato and Mt. Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental, Mindanao Island, Philippines. J. Nat. Studies 7(1): 101–107.
BAIN R, BIJU SD, BROWN RM, INDRANEIL DAS, DIESMOS AC, DUTTA S, GOWER D, INGER R, ISKANDAR DT, KANEKO Y, LAU MWN, MEEGASKUMBURA M, OHLER A, PAPENFUSS TJ, PETHIYAGODA R, STUART B, WILKINSON M, XIE F. 2008. Amphibians of the Indomalayan Realm. Barcelona, Spain: The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland and Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA.
BEUKEMA W. 2011. Herpetofauna of disturbed forest fragments on the lower Mt. Kitanglad Range, Mindanao Island, Philippines. Salamandra 47(2): 90–98.
BROWN RM, DIESMOS AC, SANGUILA MB, SILER SD, DIESMOS MD, ALCALA AC. 2012. Amphibian Conservation in the Philippines. FrogLog 20(5): 40–43.
BROWN RM, SILER SD, OLIVEROS CH, ESSELSTYN JA, DIESMOS AC, HOSNER PA, LINKEM CW, BARLEY AJ, OAKS JR, SANGUILA MB, WELTON LJ, BLACKBURN DC, MOYLE RG, PETERSON AT, ALCALA AC. 2013. Evolutionary Processes of Diversiļ¬cation in a Model Island Archipelago. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evo. Sys. 44(24): 411–435. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110411-160323
BROWN WC, ALCALA AC, DIESMOS AC. 1999. Four New Species of the Genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Ranidae) from Luzon Island, Philippines. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, CA, USA.
CALO TV, NUÑEZA OM. 2015. Species richness and endemism of anurans in Bega Watershed, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Philippines. J. Biodiv Env. Sci. 7(3): 1–14.
CORTÉS-GOMEZ AM, RUIZ-AGUDELO CA, VALENCIA-AGUILAR A, VALENCIA-AGUILAR A, LADLE RJ. 2015. Ecological functions of neotropical amphibians and reptiles: A review. Univ. Sci. 20(2): 229–245. doi: 10.11144/Javeriana.SC20-2.efna
DIESMOS AC, WATTERS JL, HURON NA, DAVIS DR, ALCALA AC, CROMBIE RI, AFUANG LE, GEE-DAS G, SISON RV, BONACHITA-SANGUILA M, PENROD M, LABONTE MJ, DAVEY CS, LEONE EA, DIESMOS ML, SY EY, WELTON L, BROWN RM, SILER CD. 2015. Amphibians of the Philippines. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, CA, USA.
EMERSON SB, BOYD SK. 1999. Mating Vocalization of Female Frogs: Control and Evolutionary Mechanisms. Brain Behav. Evol. (53): 187–197.
FIELD A. 2005. Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (2nd edition ed.). London: Sage Publications.
GONZALEZ Z, RAY DA, MCALILEY LR, GRAY MJ, PERCHELLET C, SMITH LM, DENSMORE LD. 2004. Five Polymophic Microsatellite markers for the Great Plains Toads, Bufo cognitus. Mol. Ecol. Notes (4): 9–10.
HOCKING DJ, BABBITT KJ. 2014. Amphibian Contributions to Ecosystem Services. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9(1): 1–17.
HUMFELD SC, GRUNERT B. 2015. Effects of Temperature on Spectral Preferences of Female Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). Herp. Conserv. Biol. 10(3): 1013–20.
IUCN. 2016. Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved from on 12 Nov 2016.
KELLEY DB. 2004. Vocal Communication in Frogs. Cur Opinion Neurobiol. (14): 751–757. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2004.10.01
MACUSI ED, KATIKIRO RE, BABARAN RP. 2017. The influence of economic factors in the change of fishing strategies of anchored FAD fishers in the face of declining catch, General Santos City, Philippines. Mar. Pol. 78: 98–106. doi:
NARINS PM, MEENDERINK SWF. 2014. Climate change and frog calls: Long-term correlations along a tropical altitudinal gradient. Proc. Royal Soc. B. 281: 20140401.
PLAZA JL, SANGUILA MB. 2015. Preliminary Report on the Anurans of Mount Hilong-hilong,  Agusan Del Norte, Eastern Mindanao, Philippines. Asian Herp. Res. 6(1): 18–33. doi: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.140037
RELOX RE, LEAÑO EP, ATES-CAMINO FB. 2010. Herpetofaunal Endemism and Diversity in Tropical Forests of Mt. Hamiguitan in the Philippines. Herp. Conserv. Biol. 6(1): 107–113.
ROY D, ELEPFANDT A. 1993. Bioacoustic analysis of frog calls from northeast India. J. Biosci. 18(3): 381–393.
SANGUILA MB, COBB KA, SILER CD, DIESMOS AC, ALCALA AC, BROWN RM. 2016. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: The herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands. ZooKeys (624): 1–132. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.624.9814
SUNG YH, KARRAKER NE, HAU BCH. 2011. Evaluation of the effectiveness of three survey methods for sampling terrestrial herpetofauna in South China. Herp. Conserv. Biol. 6(3): 479-489.
SUPSUP CE, PUNA NM, ASIS AA, REDOBLADO BR, PANAGUINIT MG, GUINTO FM, RICO ELB, DIESMOS AC, BROWN RM, MALLARI ND. 2016. Amphibians and Reptiles of Cebu, Philippines: The Poorly Understood Herpetofauna of an Island with Very Little Remaining Natural Habitat. Asian Herp. Res. 7(3): 151–179. doi: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.150049
VERDADE VK, DIXO M, CURCIO FF. 2010. Risks of extinction of frogs and toads as a result of environmental changes. Est. Avançados 24(68): 161–172.