This species has so far been recorded only from the general vicinity of Kurichiyarmala, in Wayanad District, Kerala, India, at 1,200m asl (Biju et al., 2007). It is currently known from seven sub-populations on the Wayanad Plateau (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). It might be found to occur a little more widely, but it is probably endemic to Wayanad Plateau (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been recorded from Shola forests (patches of high-altitude forest separated from one another by undulating grassland) (Biju et al., 2007). Of the seven currently known populations, five are in degraded forests in and around small-scale cultivation and plantations of cardamom and coffee, and two are in undisturbed, wet evergreen forest (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). There is no clear difference in abundance in these two habitat types (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). It is not known whether or not it can adapt to seriously degraded, open habitats (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). The males start calling from marshes inside the forest during or immediately after sunset (Biju et al., 2007) in the monsoon period (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). While most species of Nyctibatrachus are aquatic, the miniature species mainly inhabit the forest floor, where they are mostly found in leaf litter or under rocks (Biju et al., 2007), and on the banks of streams (though not in the flowing water (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.)). It breeds by larval development in shallow water (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.).
It is a locally common species, but it is restricted to a small area within its range (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.).
It can adapt to somewhat degrated forest. However, it is possible that serious opening up of the habitat for agriculture is detrimental to the species.
It has not been recorded from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (S.D. Biju, pers. comm.). Surveys are needed to determine the distribution, abundance, ecological requirements, threats and conservation needs of this species.
S.D. Biju 2008. Nyctibatrachus minimus. In: IUCN 2014