This species is endemic to the general Sinharaja region of southwestern Sri Lanka, and has been recorded from 510-1,270 m asl. It occurs in three threat-defined locations that include 1) Morningside Forest Reserve, 1) Handapan Ella Plains, and 3) the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). These locations receive different levels of protection; therefore, the threat of habitat loss varies among them. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 124 km
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits closed-canopy rainforest habitats and cardamom plantations within the forest. Adult males have been observed calling at night while perched on ferns, 0.3-1.0 m above ground (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). It breeds by direct development and is not dependent on water.
It is a common species in suitable habitat. A recent survey produced observations of 30 individuals over a two-hour period (M. Meegaskumbura pers. comm. 2014). There are no data to suggest population declines.
It is found in the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (the largest remnant of Sri Lanka's forests), and the Morningside Forest Reserve bordering the eastern margin of the World Heritage Site. Morningside receives some level of government protection, but is not an official conservation area (Janzen and Bopage 2011, R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). While the government has purchased much of the land around Morningside, there is still pressure from land use within the reserve; a tea/cardamom plantation operates at the centre of the reserve and there is illegal clearing of understory to establish small parcels for cardamom cultivation (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). There is need for improved protection of the area and incorporation of Morningside into the contiguous Sinharaja World Heritage Site would help prevent future loss of remaining forest habitat (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). Research is needed to better understand its life history, population status and current threats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Pseudophilautus silvaticus. In: IUCN 2014