Diversity, Distribution, and Habitat Association of Anuran Species from Keffa, Southwest Ethiopia

Abeje Kassie, Afework Bekele Simegn, Bezawork Afework Bogale, Sandra Goutte, Stephane Boissinot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the current study was to provide a description of the species composition and habitat association of anuran species found in the Keffa area of southwest Ethiopia, among the least studied natural areas in Ethiopia. Data were gathered in both the rainy and dry seasons. Opportunistic observations, audio, and visual encounters were used to perform the survey. To capture different frog species, drift fence and pitfall trap techniques were used. Three habitat types—wetlands, agricultural land, and riverine forests—were explored for the frog species. A total of 3672-person field hours were spent and 5678 individuals of 26 different anuran species from eight different families were recorded. Of these, six species were new records for the Keffa area. Species determination was assessed using morphology and validated with genetic barcoding. The mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI gene sequence analysis have been used in molecular systematic analyses of the frog species. The Leptopelis ragazzii that was discovered to be present in the earlier study was actually Leptopelis vannutellii, as evidenced by DNA sequencing. The Hyperolius individuals were initially categorized as H. nasutus, but after conducting DNA barcoding, they were found to be H. microps. At least three potential new candidate species (Leptopelis sp. 1, Leptopelis sp. 2, and Phrynobatrachus sp. 1) were discovered. Hyperoliidae was the most abundant family from the recorded anurans, followed by Phrynobatrachidae, while Conrauidae was the least abundant. Most species were found in the wetland habitat, followed by riverine forest, while agricultural land had the least. Wetlands had the highest values for the Shannon diversity index (2.131), followed by agricultural land (1.58) and riverine forests (1.459). The environmental variables revealed that temperature had a considerable negative impact, while precipitation had a non-significantly positive relationship with anuran abundance. The Keffa area is rich in frog species, accounting for 35% of the country’s batrachofauna. However, the habitats have been fragmented and ruined by agricultural expansion, water drainage from the wetlands, and the conversion of horticulture to field crops. We recommend that non-governmental organizations, districts, regional officials, and local people in and around Keffa actively engage in wetland and forest conservation and protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number300
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • DNA sequence
  • Keffa
  • diversity
  • frog
  • habitat
  • new species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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