This species is found in a few localities of the central cordilleras, on northern Luzon Island in the Philippines, between 1,700–2,200 m asl (A. Diesmos pers. comm. March 2018). It might also occur on Mount Polis and Mount Pulog, and may be found more widely within the central cordilleras on Luzon than currently mapped (A. Diesmos pers. comm. March 2018). The extent of occurrence (EOO) of its current known range is 4,235 km2 and it is thought to occur in fewer than five threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits arboreal microhabitats in mossy and montane rainforests. It breeds by direct development, presumably in shrub layer vegetation. It does not tolerate habitat disturbance (A. Diesmos pers. comm. March 2018).
It is quite rare at type locality (Mount Data), but in other sites with good forest cover it can be common (A. Diesmos pers. comm. March 2018). The number of mature frogs likely to occur at the type locality (Mount Data) falls within the range of 100–300 individuals. However, it has been found in other localities away from Mount Data, and so the total population of the species is not as small as was once thought. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The most important threat to this species is the continued loss of montane forests in the cordilleras due to conversion of habitat to vegetable farms, quarrying, mining of mineral resources, and real estate development. Pollution from agricultural pesticides, which are intensively used to maintain vegetable farms, is likely to be a major factor in the loss of some subpopulations of this species from the remaining montane forests at the type locality.
It is present in several protected areas, including Pulag and Mount Data National Parks. Since the 2004 assessment, in collaboration with various regional academic institutions, NGO-led awareness campaigns have been taking place to educate the public regarding the need to protect remaining forests on Luzon Island, resulting in positive responses by local communities and improved protection for priority species.
Remaining tracts of intact montane rainforest in the cordilleras require protection. The application and disposal of agricultural pesticides in the numerous vegetable farms needs to be monitored and regulated.
Further work is required to better understand the population size, distribution, and trends.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4,235 km2, all individuals are in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on Luzon in the Philippines.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Platymantis subterrestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T17558A58474743. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T17558A58474743.en .Downloaded on 10 December 2018