This species is currently known only from the Yinggeling Mountain range on Hainan Island, Hainan Province, southern China, at 1,300-1,550m asl (Chou et al., 2007). There are records from Mahuolong and Yinggezui (Chou et al., 2007). Its not been found in surveys of other mountains in Hainan despite surveys there, but it will probably be found in more sites in the Yinggeling Mountain Range (M.W.N. Lau pers. comm.). There are not many areas in Hainan above 1,300m asl (B. Chan pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
It is known only from primary montane rainforest (Chou et al., 2007). It has been found on the leaves of shrubs 30cm over a dried pool in a stream, and in sedges in a dried rain pool on a mountain ridge (Chou et al., 2007). It appears to be a montane species that breeds in still water, and there are not many suitable breeding habitats within its elevational range (M.W.N. Lau pers. comm.). It is not known if it can survive in opened up habitat.
It appears to be a rare species, as during a three-month survey, only three specimens were found (B. Chan pers. comm.). The area of suitable habitat is very small (M.W.N. Lau pers. comm.).
The montane habitat of the species is above the elevation at which human disturbance of the forest is taking place (Chou et al., 2007). The forest was given formal protection in 2004. The species could be at risk if climate change leads to a decrease in rainfall, as the species is believed to be dependent on rainpools for breeding, which are few and far between in the steep terrain where it lives.
It occurs in the Yinggeling Nature Reserve which was established in 2004. Surveys are needed to clarify the distribution, ecological requirements and conservation needs of this species.
Michael Wai Neng Lau, Bosco Chan, Chou Wenhao 2008. Rhacophorus yinggelingensis. In: IUCN 2014