This species is endemic to western Cameroon at altitudes of 1,300-2,450m asl. The nominate subspecies is recorded from Mount Manenguba, Mount Mbam, Santa, Mount Bana, Mount Ngokham, the Bamboutos Mountains, and the Bafut-Ngemba Forest Reserve, and is likely also to occur on Mount Oku. The subspecies A. r. tchabelensis is known only from the southern slopes of Tchabal Mbaba, at 1,700-1,900m asl, in Cameroon, and might occur on the Mambila Plateau in eastern Nigeria.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in both the submontane and montane zones, and is typically associated with small streams in forest where it breeds. However, at higher altitudes above 2,000m asl it can also be found along streams in montane grassland, sometimes bordered with trees. It seems able to tolerate minor disturbance of its habitat. The subspecies A. r. tchabelensis lives in relict gallery forests in a generally deforested area.
It is a very common species.
Although it is likely that it can tolerate a degree of habitat alteration, this species is probably declining as a result of widespread habitat loss and degradation within its restricted range, mainly due to smallholder agricultural activities, subsistence wood extraction, and human settlement.
It occurs in the Bafut-Ngemba Forest Reserve.
Jean-Louis Amiet 2004. Astylosternus rheophilus. In: IUCN 2014