This species is known only from the Huon Peninsula, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea at 1,100-1,830m asl (Richards and Oliver, 2007). It has been recorded from just two sites, Surim and Albagumut, 30 km apart (Richards and Oliver, 2007). It does not appear to occur at Dendawang (2,000m asl) or at Tarona (200–400m asl) despite the close proximity of these sites to Abalgamut and Surim respectively, suggesting that this species may be restricted to wet forests at altitudes between about 1,000 and 1,850m asl (Richards and Oliver, 2007). Within this elevational band, it is expected to occur in other sites, at least on the Huon Peninsula, and perhaps elsewhere.
Habitat and Ecology
It has been found in extremely wet, lower-montane rainforest (Richards and Oliver, 2007). Thick moss covers most exposed surfaces in the forest (Richards and Oliver, 2007). At Surim this species was found calling from the ground or from logs on the forest floor, usually in positions hidden by low foliage (Richards and Oliver, 2007). At Abalgamut males called from more elevated positions (up to 1.5m above the ground), normally from within dense mossy clumps on the side of tree trunks or on tree branches above the ground (Richards and Oliver, 2007). It is presumed to breed by direct development without dependence on water.
There is no information on its abundance.
The forest where it occurs is reasonably well protected in a Wildlife Management Area (S. Richards, pers. comm.), but overall there is no information on threats.
It occurs in the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project Area where its habitat is conserved. Surveys are needed to determine its geographic distribution, ecological requirements, threats and conservation needs.
Stephen Richards 2008. Hylophorbus rainerguentheri. In: IUCN 2014