A Preliminary Study on the Batraco-herpetological Fauna in the Forest Refuge of Albertine Rift, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Main Article Content

Franck Masudi Muenye Mali
Anne Laudisoit
Michel Komba Yendema
Gabriel Badjedjea Babangenge
Morgan Mukobya
Corneille Ewango
Pionus Katuala
Dudu Akaibe
Gédéon Ngiala Bongo
Justin Asimonio Anio
Jean Paul Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua
Gembu Tungaluna


Aims: Amphibians and reptiles of the Albertine Rift in the Congolese part of the country are poorly documented. The objective of this research was to perform a preliminary inventory of the diversity of amphibians and reptiles in the region.

Study Design: This study was designed following scientific expeditions related to studies on chimpanzees. Litterature search revealed that amphibians and reptiles are poorly documented in these habitats.

Place and Duration of Study: Amphibians and reptiles were collected in 12 days between April and May 2017 in Dzu (N01.94753°; E030.88848°), Dzoo (N01.92742°; E030.89179°), Nzerku 3 (N01.94119°; E030.90612°) and Nzonzo (N01.90352°; E30.91030°). 

Methodology: To collect amphibians and reptiles, we used the most minimally invasive method. This method consists of capturing 1 specimen for a known species and a maximum of 5 specimens for those for an unknown species. The surplus specimens were released into their environment. During the night between 7 pm and 9 pm, amphibians were captured by hand using a flashlight. Snakes had been captured using the snake stick. All captured specimens were scanned with a camera and then identified using amphibian and snake species identification keys. Necropsies (tongue and muscle tissue) stored in Eppendorf tubes containing alcohol (90-75%). Specimens had been fixed with formaldehyde (10%), before being preserved in alcohol (75%) in the long term. Tissues were shipped for molecular analysis to the University of Texas (United States).

Results: In the four study sites, 149 amphibian specimens were collected, consisting of 19 species, 9 genera and 8 families. According to the reptiles, 27 specimens divided into 21 species grouped into 19 genera and 11 families were recorded.

Conclusion: The batraco-herpetological fauna in the Albertine Rift in Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich and diversified, hence this deserves the attention of other researchers.

Rift Albertine, amphibians, reptiles, batraco-herpetofauna, RAFALE landscape, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Article Details

How to Cite
Mali, F. M. M., Laudisoit, A., Yendema, M. K., Babangenge, G. B., Mukobya, M., Ewango, C., Katuala, P., Akaibe, D., Bongo, G. N., Anio, J. A., Ngbolua, J. P. K.- te-N., & Tungaluna, G. (2019). A Preliminary Study on the Batraco-herpetological Fauna in the Forest Refuge of Albertine Rift, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, 2(4), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajriz/2019/v2i430076
Original Research Article


Carré A. Liste rouge des ecosystemes de l’ICCN. Exercice d’application sur quelques écosystèmes de Zones Humides de France métropolitaine, World Heritage. 2019;32. French.

Freeman B, Sunnarborg J, and Peterson AT. Effects of climate change on the distributional potential of three range-restricted West African bird species. The Condor, Orni Appli. 2019, 121(2):1-10.

Mengistu SP, Nagel AA, Getahun P, Saber A, Loader SA. Updates review of amphibian diversity, distribution and conservation in Ethiopia. Ethiop J Biol Sci. 2013;12(1):81-116.

Cogǎlniceanu D, Székely P, Samoilă, C, Ruben I, Tudir M, Plăiaşu R, et al. Diversity and distribution of amphibians in Romania. Zookeys. 2013;296:35-57.
DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.296.4872
[PMCID: PMC3689111]

Foden WB, Butchart SHM, Stuart SN, Vié JC, Akçakaya HR, Angulo A, et al. Identifying the World’s Most climate change vulnerable species: A systematic trait-based assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals. PLoS One. 2013;8(6).

Polidoro BA, Carpenter KE, Collins L, Duke NC, Ellison AM, Ellison JC et al. The loss of species: Mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of Global Concern. PLoS One. 2010; 5(4): e10095.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010095
[PMCID: PMC2851656]

Heubes J, Schmidt M, Stuch B, Garcia JR, Wittig R, Zizka G, et al. The projected impact of climate and land use change on plant diversity: An example from West Africa. J. Arid Environ, 2013, 96(2013):48-54. Available:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2013.04.008

Musumba TP, Kavira M, Karume K. Key factors driving deforestation in North-Kivu Province, Eastern DR-Congo Using GIS and Remote Sensing. Am. J. Geogr. Inf. Syst. 2019;8(1):11-25.

Kanyamibwa S. AIbertine Rift conservation status. Report. 2013;1:102.

Laudisoit A, Baelo P, Mande C, huyghe P, Scholier T, Asimonyio J, Omatoko J, Ndjoku et al. (2017). RAFALE PROJECT: Relict & Refuge Altitude Forests of the Albert Lake Escarpment, Ituri, DRCongo. Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp. Natuurpunt Zoogdierendag 1e editie, Drie Eiken campus, UA , Antwerpen, Belgium, 28th october 2017. Poster.

Laudisoit A, Tagg N, Willie J, Scholier T, Huyghe P, Asimonyio J, Dz'na, Ndjoku B, et al, (2018). First glimpse at en enigmatic chimpanzee population in forest fragments of the Albert Lake Escarpment (RAFALE), Ituri, DRCongo. 22nd August, Abstract # 12573, Event # 493, IPS 2018, Nairobi, Kenya. Oral presentation.

Channing A. Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Protea Book House. 2001;470.

Frétey T. Amphibiens d’Afrique Cetrale et d’Angola. Clé de détermination illustrée des amphibiens de Gabon et du Mbin. Herpetol Rev. 2012;43(4):232.

Dewynter M, Frétey T. Liste taxonomique commentée et catalogue illustré des Amphibiens du Gabon. Les Cah. la Fond. Biotope. 2019;27:2-84.

Chippaux JP. Les serpents d'Afrique occidentaleet centrale. IRD Editions, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Colection Faune et Flore tropicales, Pris. 2006;329.

Portillo F, Greenbaum E. A new species of the Leptopelis modestus complex (Anura: Arthroleptidae) from the Albertine Rift of Central Africa. J. Herpetol. 2014;48(3):394-406.

Sinsch U, Greenbaum E, Kusamba C, Lehr E. Rapid assessment of montane anuran communities in the Albertine Rift: Hyperolius castaneus Ahl, 1931 as an Umbrella Species for Conservation. African Zool. 2011;46(2):320–333.

Plumptre AJ, Davenport TRB, Behangana M, Kityo R, Eilu G, Ssegawa P, Moyer D. The biodiversity of the Albertine Rift. Biol Conserv. 2007;134(2):178–194.

Eilu G, Hafashimana DLN, and Kasenene JM. Tree species distribution in forests of the Albertine Rift, western Uganda. Afr J Ecol. 2004;42(2):100-111.

Channing A, Hillers A, Lotters S, Rodel MO, Schick S, Conradie W, et al. Taxonomy of the super-cryptic hyperolius nasutus group of long reed frogs of Africa (Anura: Hyperoliidae), with descriptions of six new species. Zootaxa. 2013;3620(3): 301-350.

Greenbaum E, Sinsch U, Lehr E, Valdez F, Kusamba C. Phylogeography of the reed frog Hyperolius castaneus (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from the Albertine Rift of Central Africa: Implications for taxonomy, biogeography and conservation. Zootaxa, 2013;3731(4):473-494.

Masudi MMF, Chifundera KZ, Mwenebantu AM, Celestin Danadu CM, Katuala PGB, Gambalemoke SM, Ewango, Gembu GTC, Akaibe BD. Note on the amphibians and reptiles of the Mungbwalu (Ituri Province) and Mutwanga (Province of North-Kivu) in DRC. Int J Zool, 2019;2(2):18-27.