The species is known from two specimens from Ranomafana National Park and Ambohitantely Special Reserve between 915-1,200 m asl. It is likely to occur in the forest fragments between the two parks (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2014), but for the purposes of this assessment has been mapped to the boundaries of both parks. As such it has an extent of occurrence of 6,295 km2 and it thought to occur in fewer than ten threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This arboreal frog has been recorded from montane rainforest and, while its breeding strategy has not been confirmed, it is likely to use water for breeding (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2014).
It seems to be a very secretive species (Glaw et al. 2010). However, it is known from only two specimens from two well-surveyed parks and is morphologically distinct from congeners, suggesting that it may be rare (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2014). Due to ongoing habitat degradation and loss, its population is suspected to be decreasing and is possibly severely fragmented.
There is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacturing, invasive spread of eucalyptus, livestock grazing, regular burning to maintain cattle pasture, and expanding human settlements. In the Ranomafana region, there has been an increase in artisanal mining.
It occurs in Ranomafana National Park, which is presently well-managed but is potentially at risk if political instability weakens enforcement (M. Vences pers. comm. December 2010). It is also know from Ambohitantely Special Reserve, which shelters the last traces of forest in the central Plateau. Listed threats are known to encroach into the boundaries of both of the protected areas.
In order to ensure the persistence of this species, current management practices within Ranomafana should be maintained (M. Vences pers. comm. December 2010) and improved protection of habitat in Ambohitantely is required.
Further research is required to better understand the species' population size, distribution and trends.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 6,295 km2, it is known from fewer than ten locations, and there is ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, despite there being some level of habitat protection within the boundaries of Ranomafana National Park and Ambohitantely Special Reserve in eastern Madagascar.
In the Boophis goudoti group according to the original publication (Frost 2013). There is uncertainty about the taxonomy of the two known specimens (F. Glaw pers. comm. Nov. 2014).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Boophis spinophis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T49546338A49546356. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T49546338A49546356.en