This species is known only from the eastern slopes of the Wondiwoi Mountains at the base of the Wandammen Peninsula at 400 to 800m a.s.l. (approximately 2°58’S, 134°38’E) in the northwestern part of Papua Province in Indonesian New Guinea. It probably occurs more widely (R. Günther, pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
All specimens of this species have been located in closed-canopy primary rainforest. They prefer loamy slopes but have also been found on horizontal areas on the ground in small valleys. When calling they perch without exception on the surface of the ground where they stay on bare humus or clay soil, or on, or in, leaf litter. The species can probably survive in secondary forest, but not in completely opened-up areas (R. Günther, pers. comm.). The species presumably breeds by direct development, depositing its eggs in damp terrestrial habitats, without dependence on aquatic ecosystems.
It is at least locally common within its small range, as several hundred calling males were registered along a strip about 100 m wide and 4 km long strip. Loamy slopes between 600 and 700 m a.s.l. are most densely populated.
It is impacted by clear-felling and selective logging at its only known site, which has taken place after the construction of a road inside the protected area in 1997-1998 (R. Günther, pers. comm.).
Its only known site is in a protected area, but this has not prevented logging from taking place. Effective protected area management is needed. Surveys are needed to determine the status, distribution and ecological requirements of the species, and to determine whether or not there are any threats. If its range proves to be genuinely small, a protected area should be established.
Rainer Günther 2008. Cophixalus tridactylus. In: IUCN 2014