Trilaksono's Bush Frog
The Trilaksono's bush frog, Chirixalus trilaksonoi is a species of amphibian endemic to West Java. It was described in 2014 as Chiromantis trilaksonoi, before a taxonomic revision by Chen et al. in 2020 that moved it to the genus Chirixalus. The species epithet of this frog is in honour of museum technician Wahyu Tri Laksono, who discovered the holotype in his back yard in 2013 (Riyanto & Kurniati, 2014).
To date, this frog is only known from three locations in West Java. All of these locations are disturbed habitat (e.g. agricultural land), and are not in protected areas (IUCN, 2018). Out of the three known locations, two of them have been developed into residential estates (Laksono, pers. comm. 2020, pers. obs. 2018). In the late 1980s, many of these frogs were found in a wetland area in Bogor, which has now been turned into Billabong Estate (Yuwono, pers. comm. 2020). Because of this, the Trilaksono's bush frog is heavily threatened by habitat destruction and pesticide use (IUCN, 2018).
During various surveys from 2017-2020, we have detected several other sites where these frogs still occur. However, all these sites are located in human habitations/agricultural areas, which could be wiped out at any moment. With the considerations above, it is extremely urgent to kickstart a conservation project for this species, with three initial steps:
Conduct research on the distribution and ecology of the Trilaksono's bush frog, in order to obtain baseline data to best devise a conservation action plan.
Start a captive breeding program, in order to have an assurance colony in captivity, in case it goes extinct in the wild.
Raise awareness and educate the public about these frogs, especially in areas where they occur.
In addition, we plan to monitor wild populations of this species when (or if) possible. The possibilities will depend on whether or not wild populations still exist, and if we manage to obtain sufficient funding for the project.