DISTRIBUTIONAL ECOLOGY OF SCLEROPHRYS MACULATA (NORTHERN FLAT-BACKED TOAD) AND PTYCHADENA MASCARENIENSIS (MASCARENE GRASS FROG) ON THE LIBERIAN REFUGEE CAMP, IJEBU- ORU, NIGERIA
Sclerophrys maculata (toad) and Ptychadena mascareniensis (frog) are widely distributed anuran genera across West Africa to even other regions of Africa. Their distributional ecology and comparative abundance were studied on the Liberian refugee camp in Ijebu-Oru, Ogun State. Applying the visual encounter survey (VES) and acoustical encounter survey (AES) sampling methods, both genera were searched for opportunistically in the study area that was delimitated into four sub study sites (SSA, SSB, SSC and SSD). The highest number of individuals of both S. maculata and P. mascareniensis were observed in SSB during the dry season while the least observed in SSD. In the wet season, the highest number observed was in SSC while the least in SSD. During the dry season, there was a mean adult population of thirty-two (32) Sclerophrys sp while that of Ptychadena sp was 9.5 which was significantly different (P< 0.05). However during the wet season, greater number of adult Ptychadena sp (76.6) was observed than the Sclerophrys sp (65.4), but not significantly different (P> 0.05). During the wet season, the greatest mean number of adult individuals for Sclerophrys sp (29.9) and Ptychadena sp (31.5) were recorded at site SSC. The lowest; Sclerophrys sp (6.6) and Ptychadena sp (6.5) were recorded at site SSD. During the dry season, the greatest mean number for Seclerophrys sp (11.5) and Ptychadena sp (4.1) were recorded at site SSB and the lowest; Sclerophrys sp (4.4) and Ptychadena sp (1.4) were recorded at site SSD. Higher mean numbers of Sclerophrys sp were recorded within the first ten meters compare to the Ptychadena sp while further towards the swamp (21-30m), greater mean number of Ptychadena sp was observed compared to Sclerophrys sp. Ptychadena sp with its soft moist skin finds it more suitable not dwelling in vicinities far away from aquatic sources of water. Therefore evolutionarily speaking, the development of tough warty skin by the toads have conferred on them better adaptation for terrestrial existence as compared to the frogs that is still relying more on very moist and aquatic environments for their optimal existence.