Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ethiopia
View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
IUCN (Red List) status: Endangered (EN).
For Red List information on this species, see the IUCN species account.
From the IUCN Red List Species Account:
This species is endemic to the Bale Mountains, east of the Rift Valley, in Ethiopia, where it has been found at 3,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is known only from giant heath (Erica arborea) woodland, just below the timberline. All specimens have been collected by day from beneath logs and boulders. Its breeding behaviour is unknown, but females have been found to contain large and unpigmented ova, which is probably indicative of either direct development or at least of a terrestrial nest.
It seemed to be reasonably numerous in the type locality in 1986; the absence of recent records is due to a lack of survey effort.
Direct damage to the narrow belt of giant heath with which this animal is associated, by either humans or their livestock, does not seem very likely in the near future, but would be disastrous. A more worrying possibility is the indirect harm resulting from logging of contiguous tall forests at a slightly lower elevation.
The type locality of this amphibian species is situated in the Bale Mountains National Park, although this protected area has not yet been formally gazetted. Conservation of Erica woodland and heath throughout the Ethiopian mountains is a high priority. Clearly, there is an urgent need to conduct further survey work to establish whether this species might be more widely distributed.
Malcolm Largen, Robert Drewes 2004. Balebreviceps hillmani. In: IUCN 2012