This species is currently known only from one locality, estimated to be much less than 100 km², at 830 m asl in the Nguru South Forest Reserve in the Nguru Mountains, Tanzania (Blackburn 2009). It is possible that the species may be found in other areas of the Eastern Arc Mountains in addition to Nguru; however, this requires verification. It is also possible that it may be circumscribed to the Nguru Mountains (D. Blackburn pers comm. March 2010; B. Zimkus pers. comm. March 2010). The Nguru Mountains have an estimated extent of 300 km² (Burgess et al. 2007 in Blackburn 2009), although the presence of this species elsewhere in Nguru needs to be confirmed.
Habitat and Ecology
Specimens were found in leaf litter in forest (Blackburn 2009). This species is presumed to breed by direct development. It is not known whether this species is able to tolerate habitat alterations.
It is most likely a locally common species, but it is quite possible that it has a restricted range (B. Zimkus pers. comm. March 2010). Its current population trend is not known.
The Nguru Mountains are threatened by forest loss and degradation in the form of extensive sugar plantation and smallholder sugar and rice cultivation at the base of the mountains. At higher altitudes, bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, maize and coffee are cultivated. Many farmers also have plots within the Nguru South Forest Reserve, where they grow cardamom and yams. Cardamom cultivation is now widespread within Nguru South Forest Reserve. In addition, there is fire, selective logging and the removal of the forest shrub and herb layer for the cultivation of cardamom and yams (Menegon et al. 2008; B. Zimkus pers. comm. March 2010).
Although this species occurs in a forest reserve, it is still threatened by habitat degradation and loss, which is occurring within the reserve. Enforcement of reserve boundaries is needed to deter encroaching agriculture and selective logging. Further survey work is needed to determine this species' distribution, population status, and natural history.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence is estimated to be much less than 100 km², all individuals are known from only one location at the time of this assessment, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in the Nguru Mountains due to encroaching agricultural activities and selective logging. If further surveys reveal that this species could have a more widespread distribution in the Nguru Mountains or occur at more than one location, it may require a reassessment in a lower threat category.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2011. Arthroleptis kidogo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T175360A7137675. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T175360A7137675.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019