This species is known only from its holotype which is believed to have been collected near Limbe on the coast of south-western Cameroon. However, caecilians of the genus Crotaphatrema have only been found at high elevations, suggesting that Crotaphatrema bornmuelleri is also a high-altitude species and should be found on Mount Cameroon, which is the nearest mountain to Limbe (Lawson 2000 and Doherty-Bone et al. 2011) and may occur more widely.
Habitat and Ecology
The holotype was collected by a local from an unknown location, thus its habitat is unknown (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012). Assuming it occupies habitats similar to other caecilians, possible habitats for this soil-dwelling species include both montane and lowland forest, fruit tree plantations, rural small-scale gardens and secondary forest. However, there is no information on the ecological preferences of this species and its breeding biology is also unknown (although it is suspected to be oviparous with direct development).
There is no information on its population abundance or trends as it is known only from a single specimen collected by Werner in 1893.
There are no known major threats to the species as the locality and habitat of its origin are unknown. However, assuming that soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation is important for the species, possible threats could include habitat disturbance and conversion caused by agricultural intensification (including the application of agricultural herbicides and pesticides) (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comm. August 2012). There has been extensive forest loss in its only known locality, but if it is like other African caecilians it might be adaptable to a degree of habitat change.
It is not known from any protected areas and, in view of extensive past deforestation, its habitat in Limbe could require protection. Should the species be found at higher elevations, such as on nearby Mount Cameroon, it could occur within Mount Cameroon National Park (T. Doherty-Bone pers. comm. October 2012). Research is needed on its population status, natural history and threats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Crotaphatrema bornmuelleri. In: IUCN 2014