This species is known from West New Britain Province on New Britain Island, in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. All records are from the northern Nakani Mountains, at 1,500–1,700m a.s.l. on a ridge between the Ivule and Sigole rivers (05°33.1129S, 151°04.2699E) (Brown et al., 2006). Its true distribution probably includes similar forested high-elevation habitats throughout the Nakanai Mountains and perhaps other mountain ranges on New Britain.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a species known from montane rainforest, including El Niño-damaged Nothophagus forest with a fairly open canopy and a dense secondary understory of climbing bamboo and Pandanus screw palms. It appears to be dependent on Pandanus stands, perching on leaf-fronds 2–4m above the ground (Brown et al., 2006). It has never been observed to perch in adjacent understory vegetation or bushes (Brown et al., 2006). Dense congregations of calling individuals have been observed in areas where Pandanus stands were plentiful (Brown et al., 2006). This species presumably breeds by direct development without dependence on aquatic habitats, laying eggs in leaf axils. It can probably survive in selectively logged areas but not in completely opened up habitats (J. Foufopolos pers. comm.).
It is common in its only known locality.
No direct information is available on threats to this species. However, it could be impacted by ongoing commercial logging on New Britain, and also the effects of global climate change (droughts bringing fire which destroy its habitat).
It has not been recorded from any protected areas. Surveys are needed to determine its distribution, ecological requirements and conservation needs.
Johannes Foufopoulos, Stephen Richards 2008. Cornufer nakanaiorum. In: IUCN 2014