This species is known from Palawan Island, in the Philippines, where is was previously only known from Mount Mantalingahan, Irawan Thumb Peak, and San Vincente, between 1,300–1,600 m asl. Surveys in 2014 have now recorded the species from Shumkat Peak in the Municipality of Narra (Sy and Tan 2015) and also in 2014, a new record of the species was made at Cleopatra's Needle (Jose and van Beijnen 2017). Its EOO is 7,915 km2 and it occurs in four threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits arboreal microhabitats in montane mossy forests. Individuals have also been found in bamboo dominated vegetation (Jose and van Beijnen 2017). Its breeding biology is unrecorded, but it presumably takes place in water by larval development.
The species remains rare, but has been recorded during biodiversity surveys in 2007 (Brown et al. 2009) and 2014 (Sy and Tan 2015, Jose and van Beijnen 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
At Mount Mantalingahan the major threat is habitat destruction and degradation due to nickel and chromite mining and associated pollution (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). There are no other known threats in the other parts of its range as it occurs at high elevations, which are mostly inaccessible (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017).
This species has been recorded in the newly declared (2016) Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, which protects more than 100,000 acres of forest. The management system for this protected area, however, still needs to be put in place (J. van Beijnen pers. comm. 2017).
The Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan for areas was put into place by the national government in 1992, which aims to divide the island into a network of environmentally critical areas above 1,000 m asl (ECAN - Environmentally Critical Areas Network). The plan is operationalized on a local level by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development. The map of these areas is currently being updated to include lowland areas below 1,000 m asl.
The Global Conservation Fund established a $1 million endowment fund for the Mount Mantalingahan range. The funds are held by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation and are used to protect remaining forest on the mountain.
Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation is also managing about $30 million in funds from debt payments due to the US government, which are instead allocated for spending during 2016-2026 towards forest protection in three priority areas: Palawan Island, the Sierra Madre on Luzon Island, and eastern Mindanao Island.
Although the forests on Palawan are, in general, reasonably well protected in much of the island, more effective management of existing protected areas is needed. Protection of the remaining rainforest on the island, especially riverine habitats and gallery forests, is also necessary.
Further survey work is needed to establish the current population distribution, size and trends. The genetic relationships of the subpopulations on Cleopatra’s Needle (northern Palawan), the type locality (Thumb Peak, central Palawan) and Mt. Mantalingahan Mountain Range (Southern Palawan) should be investigated (Jose and van Beijnen 2017).
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 7,915 km2, it occurs in fewer than 10 threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the quality of its habitat at Mount Mantalingahan.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Pelophryne albotaeniata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T29588A58475919. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T29588A58475919.en .Downloaded on 12 December 2018