Nigeria is a country in the western region of Africa. The country has a wide variety of amphibian species with about 67 species of frogs. These amphibians occupy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems provided by the rainforests, lakes, rivers, and streams that are widely distributed in the country. Environmental degradation through deforestation, agricultural activities and the expansion of human habitations have had a direct adverse impact on the habitats of these diverse species leading to threats to their populations.
Gaboon Forest Frog
The Gaboon forest frog is a species of least concern native to a large portion of Africa, including Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Cameroon. The species has its habitats in the lowland rainforests. The frog occupies the Mayombe Hills in eastern Nigeria.The Gaboon forest frog breeds in flowing water usually wide and shallow streams with sandy banks. The upper body of the frog is brown with black spots and smooth skin with warts on the back. The head is broad and two large eyes and a dark line between with an obtusely pointed snout. The snout to vent length is about 5.7 centimeters. The species has been listed as least concern due to its widely distributed population but is likely to face threats in future from habitat loss.
African Tree Toad (Nectophryne afra)
The frog is a species of least concern native to southwestern Nigeria and other parts of Central and Western Africa, predominately being found in lowland forests. The toad has a dark to light brown color with black marks on the upper body and white marks on the belly. The short legs have partially webbed feet (for swimming) with thin and elongated toes for gripping trees as it climbs. The toad has a weight of up to 0.18 ounces and a length of up to 1.5 inches. Movement is through hopping or crawling. The frog is a diurnal animal and climbs trees in the night to avoid predators such as lizards, birds, snakes, rodents and larger frogs and toads. The African tree toad feeds on insects, worms, and spiders which it ambushes by surprise and catches using its long sticky tongue. The species could be threatened soon due to habitat loss.
Cameroon Water Frog (Petropedetes cameronensis)
The Cameroon water frog is a near threatened species native to southeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. In those countries it is found in closed-canopy lowland forests in places with flowing water. The frog has a small compact body of an average length of 2.7 to 3.5 centimeters in males and 3.4 to 4.9 centimeters in females. The body is colored dark brown with lighter spots. The frog lays eggs on tree trunks and leaves that are near or in fast flowing streams including rapids and waterfalls. The population of the water frog is threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation, human settlement, and unsustainable agricultural practices.
Niger Forest Tree Frog (Leptopelis millsoni)
The Niger forest tree frog is a species of least concern native to Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and other parts of Central and West Africa. Males measure 4 to 4.9 centimeters in length while females have a body length of 7.4 to 8.7 centimeters. Their bodies are brown or green. The feet of the frog are completely webbed. The habitat of this frog is in lowland rainforests near slow-flowing streams. The frog is rather sensitive and cannot survive in open areas. The arboreal frog is threatened by habitat loss.
Conservation Measures for Amphibians in Nigeria
In Nigeria, a few conservation efforts towards the conservation of these and other amphibians found in the country have been implemented. Private organizations such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation have been involved in the conservation of the environment of Nigeria. Other amphibians in Nigeria include the Congo Dwarf Clawed Frog, the Pale Running Frog, Riggenbach’s Reed Frog, the Victoria Forest Tree Frog, the Cameroon Slippery Frog, and the Efulen Forest Frog.