By Mirza D. Kusrini, A. Fitri, W. Endarwin and M. Yazid
Although there is good evidence that amphibian declines are a global problem, most reported amphibian declines have occured in developed countries or in countries that have a strong research culture. Almost no declines have been reported in Indonesia. However this may be due to a lack of research and long-term monitoring in this country (Iskandar & Erdelen, 2006).
In 2003, we conducted amphibian surveys in two mountainous areas in West Java province: Mount Gede Pangrango National Park (highest peak 3,400 m above sea level) and Mount Salak (part of Mount Salak-Halimun National Park; with the highest level of 2211 m). Both mountains represent some of the few remaining pristine areas of the heavily populated West Java province. Liem (1971) described 19 species of amphibians in the Cibodas Trail of Mount Gede from 1961 to 1964. Unfortunately, there are no further available reports of Mount Gede amphibians after this time. There are no comprehensive surveys of the amphibian fauna of Mount Salak region either, and only a few reports on amphibian biodiversity in adjacent areas. Surveys by The Indonesian Insitute of Science (LIPI) in 1999-2001 in Mount Halimun region found 27 species of frogs (Mumpuni, 2002).
We conducted Visual Encounter Surveys (Heyer et al., 1994) in several locations inside the national park with different types of habitat encompassing the forest floor, water bodies and surrounding vegetation. The occurrence of a species was determined by finding adults as well as larvae and if possible by male vocalization. Surveys in Mount Gede were conducted from September 2004-February 2005, comprising nine locations ranging from 700-2740 m asl including locations reported by Liem (1971). A second series of monitoring surveys has been underway since November 2006. Surveys in Mount Salak were conducted in 7 locations, ranging from 700-340 m asl from December 2005-June 2006. Each location was visited once, for four days in a row.
In total we found 19 and 21 species from five families (Bufonidae, Megophrydae, Microhylidae, Ranidae and Rhacophoridae) for Mount Gede Pangrango NP and Mount Salak NP respectively. The number of species found in Mount Gede Pangrango NP were less than those found by Liem (1971) and species composition differed. Four species from Liem’s result were not found in the first survey: Fejervarya cancrivora, Bufo bipocartus, Microhyla palmipes and Rana nicobariensis. Instead, we found additional species: Rana hosii, Leptophryne borbonica, and Limnonectes macrodon. During our second year monitoring in Mount Gede Pangrango NP (November 2006-February 2007) we found the missing M. palmipes. A particularly important finding was of a caecilian Ichthyophis hypocyaneus in Bodogol (700 mm asl). This is the first record of a caecilian in Mount Gede Pangrango NP. No mass mortalities were found on either mountain, however, an adult Limnonectes kuhlii was found dead, floating in a small pu!
ddle of water on the side of a walking trail in Chevron Geothermal Concessions in Mount Salak.