Diversity and conservation of miniaturized toadlets of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

  • Bornschein, Marcos (CoI)
  • Meegaskumbura, Madhava (CoI)
  • Borges-Martins, Marcio (CoI)

Project Details

Layman's description

Pumpkin toadlets are among the smallest terrestrial vertebrates in the world, with adults of some species often not exceeding 1 cm in body length. Such miniaturization is accompanied by a suite of unique characteristics (including a reduction in the number of functional fingers and toes), which cause them to be restricted to particular habitats in cloud forests of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Our research group was involved in the discovery of more than half of the 21 new species of pumpkin toadlet described in the past 10 years, and there are likely more species awaiting discovery. Due to their unique ecological requirements, most species of pumpkin toadlets are microendemic, with their entire geographical distributions encompassing only one or a few adjacent mountaintops. Not surprisingly, over 65% of the know species of pumpkin toadlet are under some level of threat of extinction. The main goals of this project are (1) to explore the Brazilian Atlantic Forest to find new species and new populations of critically endangered species; (2) to formally describe new species and to characterize their genetic variability; and (3) to work together with conservation agencies to provide a sound basis for conservation initiatives. Efforts toward the discovery of new pumpkin toadlet species and their genetic variability are urgent, particularly given that montane habitats are amongst the most threatened by anthropogenic climate change.
Short titlePumpkin Toadlet Diversity
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/08/2431/07/26

Collaborative partners

  • Edge Hill University (lead)
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho
  • Guangxi Key Laboratory for Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, People's Republic of China.
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul


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