This species is known from the type locality, the Uluguru Mountains, with additional records in the Nguru, Udzungwa and Mahenge Mountains in eastern Tanzania (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). It is a montane species with different elevational ranges across each mountain [i.e. Nguru (1,800 m asl), Mahenge (1,050-1,500 m asl), and Udzungwa (1,120 m asl); in the Ulugurus, the elevations vary from about 900-2,300 m asl; S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012]. It is unlikely to extend much further than its currently understood range (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). It is considered to occur in four threat-defined locations (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits montane forest, and is often found inside fallen bamboo stems or on wild bananas. It is not found in disturbed forest, which suggests that it is not tolerant of degraded habitats. The eggs are laid on the inner surface of banana leaves or in stems, or in split bamboo; the tadpoles develop in water trapped in leaf axils and tree holes or in bamboo (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
It is not a locally common species, but this may be an artifact of its cryptic nature (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). Its population is considered to be severely fragmented (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
It is very likely adversely affected by ongoing forest loss, especially due to subsistence small-scale agriculture, and pole cutting and logging (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
It occurs in the Kilombero (Udzungwa) and Ulugurus Nature Reserves, the proposed Mkingu (Nguru) Nature Reserve and Mahenge (Sali proposed Nature Reserve); although these reserves are relatively well protected in comparison to other protected areas in the region, there is still a need for increased protection and improved management (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status and natural history as well as clarification of its taxonomic identity.
Molecular data suggest that there are more than one species under this name (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Hoplophryne uluguruensis. In: IUCN 2014