This species is known from southern China, northern Laos and northern Viet Nam. In China, there are records from southern Yunnan Province (Mangla, Pingbian and Hekou Counties), and from Hainan Island (Bawangling, Jianfengling, Diaoluoshan and Limushan). It has been recorded from a few areas in northern and north-central Viet Nam, and from Phongsaly Province in northern Laos. It probably occurs more widely than current records suggest, especially in areas between known sites, and possibly in Myanmar. It has been recorded from 120-1,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in montane streams and rivers that vary from shallow and slow-moving to torrential and deep. It can be found on boulders, logs, earthy banks and vegetation both in and around the water as well as in the adjacent hilly evergreen forest. It survives near Mount Tay Con Linh II in Viet Nam, where little original habitat occurs due to small-scale livestock farming and cultivation, so it appears able to tolerate some degree of habitat degradation. Its breeding habits are unknown, but it presumably breeds in rivers and streams by larval development.
It is an uncommon that appears to be in decline, at least in China.
On Hainan this species is threatened by local people collecting it for consumption. Its habitats are also under threat from deforestation and the construction of hydroelectric power plants. Elsewhere it is presumably affected to some extent by forest loss. For example, small-scale livestock farming, and cultivation (including rice paddies, palms, cinnamon trees, tea, and bamboo), have removed much original habitat around the streams in which this species is found near Mount Tay Con Linh II. At that site, local people also hunt other species of amphibians for food, but it is not known whether or not they collect this species. In Laos, significant areas of forest have been lost due to shifting cultivation and associated fires.
This species occurs in several protected areas in China, Viet Nam and Laos. In some areas, measures might be needed to manage harvesting of the species to ensure sustainability. Research is needed to determine the taxonomic status of the population on Hainan Island. Further work is also needed to determine its geographic range, threats, and conservation needs.
The population on Hainan Island might belong to an undescribed species. Ohler (2007) treated Rana megatympanum, described by Bain et al. (2003), and Rana heatwolei, described by Stuart and Bain (2005), as synonyms of this species. Rana tabaca was separated from R. megatympanum by Bain and Truong (2004), but was re-treated as a junior synonym by Stuart and Bain (2005) (and hence is now a synonym of Odorrana tiannensis).
Michael Wai Neng Lau, Zhao Ermi, Raoul Bain 2004. Odorrana tiannanensis. In: IUCN 2014