This species is known from the Sa Pa area of north and central Viet Nam (Bourret 1942) as well as from a single location in northern north-east Thailand (Chan-ard et al. 1999; as R. adenopleura) and from Xieng Khouang and Salavan provinces in Lao People's Democratic Republic. In Thailand it has been recorded at about 1,400-1,500 m asl, and in Viet Nam from 500-1,900 m asl, while in Lao People's Democratic Republic it is known from 1,220 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
In Thailand it was observed at pools and small streams surrounded by dense grassy and shrubby vegetation in montane scrub forest on peat and sand. Tadpoles inhabit the same streams. In Viet Nam it is known from pools in scrubby vegetation, evergreen forest and grazing areas. It was reported from the vicinity of a brick factory at Sa Pa (Bourret 1942). In Lao People's Democratic Republic it was reported from a slow-moving muddy stream with palm trees (Stuart 2005).
Locally, it was apparently common in 1937 (Bourret 1942). It is frequently encountered during the breeding season and is considered to be locally common (S. Swan and T. Nguyen pers. comm.). It is not uncommon at the single known location in Thailand (P.P. van Dijk pers. comm.).
It is adaptable to habitat degradation, but habitat impacts at Sa Pa have accelerated recently (BirdLife International 2001) which might pose a threat. It is consumed locally in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Stuart 2005).
The population in Thailand inhabits Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary. In Viet Nam it is known from Hoang Lien Son National Park and Kon Ka Kinh Nature Reserve. In Lao People's Democratic Republic it is known from Xe Sap National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Detailed survey data is needed, based on which further conservation measures can be formulated. Taxonomic re-evaluation of this species is needed, in particular with regards to similar species recorded from China and with specimens of Babina lini from Viet Nam and Thailand.
Specimens from Viet Nam and Thailand that are currently allocated to Babina lini might actually be B. chapaensis.
van Dijk, P.P. & Swan, S. 2009. Babina chapaensis. In: IUCN 2014