The Nimba Project(s)
are annual projects conducted since 2007 in and around the World Heritage Site “Nimba Mountains”, West Africa. The goal of these projects is to understand the influence of environment and (anthropogenic) environmental change on the composition of amphibian assemblages and individual abundances in general; and riparian assemblages and the Nimba toad in particular. The scientific research is the basis for conservation recommendations.
The Nimba toad is the only truly viviparous anuran (frogs and toads) on Earth!
Mothers nourish their litter - with moderate levels of multiple paternity (Sandberger-Loua et al 2016a) - during the gestation by oviductal secretions and give birth to fully developed juveniles after nine months (Sandberger-Loua et al 2017a). Based on morphology and genetics we determined the Liberian Nimba toad as a subspecies of the Guinean Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis (Sandberger et al 2010). Using models (GLM, GAM, zero-inflated) we identified the most important factors determining the toad’s patchy and very restricted (ca. 2.5 km²) distribution (Sandberger-Loua et al 2016b) and applying landscape genetic methods we could show that they are migrating among populations (Sandberger-Loua et al 2017b).
Most amphibian species depend on good water quality and primary forest
Monitoring the riparian amphibian assemblages over ten years, indicates that the most abundant species depend on good water quality and primary forests. A new project focuses on the biology of one of these species, Odontobatrachus arndti. We determined effects of land use change, but not of the mineral exploration activities, on the amphibian assemblages.
Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar, Animal Ecology I, Bayreuth Centre for Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth
Société de Mines de Fer Guinée (SMFG)