This frog occurs on the main ridge and on the adjacent eastern slope of the Wondiwoi Mountains at the base of the Wandammen Peninsula, on the island of New Guinea (Günther 2009). Along the main ridge it has been recorded from a 500 x 50 m transect (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010). The two known sites are approximately 3 km apart (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010). The mountains lie on the border between the Nabire and Manokwari Districts of Papua Province, Indonesia. The species has been reported at elevations of 700 and 920 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This small frog has been found beneath leaf litter in primary mossy rainforest, where it is active in late afternoon and evening (Günther 2009). Austrochaperina species reproduce by terrestrial direct development, without a free-living tadpole stage.
The pygmy land frog is common where it has been found along the ridge of the Wondiwoi Mountains at 920 m asl. (Günther 2009). This area has been surveyed four times between 1998 and 2003, and the species has been recorded on every occasion (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010). No changes in its abundance have been observed over this period (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010). A single individual has been recorded from a lower elevation site.
There appear to be no major threats to this species at present (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010). The pygmy land frog is apparently confined to high elevations, including mountain summits, and so may potentially be at risk if future climate change renders its existing habitats unsuitable.
No species-specific conservation measures are known to be in place. The Wandammen Peninsula has been described as a protected area in some publications, but there is practically no enforcement (R. Günther pers. comm. December 2010).
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient because this species has only recently been described, and there is very little information on its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, population status and threats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2012. Austrochaperina minutissima. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190983A1964596. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T190983A1964596.en .Downloaded on 22 January 2019