Red List of South African Species

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Near Threatened (NT)
Assessors: Michael J Samways
Reviewers: J Kipping J Simaika

Rationale

Ecchlorolestes nylephtha has undergone a contraction of its range, such that it is now restricted to a range of around 400 km². It is now known to occur in Marloth Nature Reserve (where there is limited timber extraction), near Storms River, and in the Tsitsikamma Forest. Within its range it occupies a very specific microhabitat (fern-lined streams). It moves from Least Concern to Near Threatened based on new information about its more specific habitat requirements within the forest and its restricted range that has been reduced.

Distribution

The species is endemic to South Africa. The original geographical range of this species has probably been reduced through removal of the Cape forests. Currently the species is known from streams near Storms River and in the Tsitsikamma Forest (Western Cape and Eastern Cape) (Samways 2006 in press), and Marloth Nature Reserve. It was recently discovered at Swellendam. The current known range is around 400 km².

Population trend

Trend

Population size is unknown, but with the protection of the Tsitsikamma Forest, range and population size appear to have stabilized (Samways 2006 in press).

Threats

Renewed natural forest removal would be a severe future threat, but currently this is considered to have minimal impact.

Conservation

Current protection of natural forest is maintaining the species' habitat and cessation of all natural forest removal is critical. Restoration of natural forest edges may enable it to expand its area of occupancy. Research into population numbers and range, and trends/monitoring of this species would also be valuable.

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