This nominal species is known from three sites in the Cherrapunjee area, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India, between 1,084-1,192 m asl (Deuti et al. 2012). These three sites are all within 1.5 km of each other, and recent surveys in the region suggest that this could be a genuinely restricted species (Deuti et al. 2012). The sites where a suspected undescribed taxon occurs are comprised by Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary and Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram and Tura in Garo hills, Meghalaya (Deuti et al. 2012). Its total range, herein taken as a proxy for its extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated to be 323 km2, although the Cherrapunjee form is estimated to occur in 18 km2. The three sites in Cherrapunjee are considered to be one threat-defined location by being at risk from rock blasting and quarrying activities. The other three areas are also considered to be individual threat-defined locations given ongoing loss of forest cover.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in montane forest dominated by screw pine trees Pandanus furcatus and is found in crevices inside sandstone boulders and in rocky ravines in the vicinity of wet seasonal streams (Deuti et al. 2012). It has been previously reported to breed in leaf axils of screw pines and in boulder pot-holes by larval development, with 23-40 eggs per egg capsule (Yazdani and Chanda 1971 in Deuti et al. 2012, Pillai and Yazdani 1973 in Deuti et al. 2012).
The three sites in the Cherrapunjee area from which the name carrier is currently understood to occur were estimated to hold no more than 100 adult individuals in 2010 (Deuti et al. 2012).
There is no population status information for Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Dampa Tiger Reserve and Tura in the Garo hills of Meghalaya.
There is extensive rock-blasting and stone quarrying in the vicinity of Cherrapunjee and the Mawblang plateau area (Deuti et al. 2012). The proximity to Mawblang village (100 m; Deuti et al. 2012) may also mean that forest resources (e.g. wood) are being used. Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary and Tura in Garo hills, Meghalaya, are thought to suffer from habitat loss due to logging. At Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram, there has been a significant change in vegetation cover, attributed to the practice of shifting agriculture in and around the reserve and the extraction of firewood and timber, resulting in a reduction of evergreen/semi-evergreen forests (Devi et al. 2011).
It is unprotected in Cherrapunjee, and given the rock blasting and quarrying activities taking place in the area, protection of the three known sites of occurrence in this region is a priority, as well as the establishment of a population monitoring programme. The undescribed form occurs in Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary and Dampa Tiger Reserve, although Dampa Tiger Reserve appears to require more management (see Devi et al. 2011). Taxonomic resolution of the undescribed form is needed in order to determine its conservation status.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 323 km2, all individuals are estimated to occur in four threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat throughout its range in Meghalaya and Mizoram. However, should the taxonomic status of the undescribed form be resolved, the nominal form from Cherrapunjee would require reassessment as Critically Endangered [CR B1ab(iii)] based on an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 18 km2, occurring in a single threat-defined location and a continuing decline of its habitat due to rock blasting and quarrying in Meghalaya.
Biological populations from Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Dampa Tiger Reserve and Tura in the Garo hills of Meghalaya previously reported under this nominal form are now considered to be an undescribed species (Deuti et al. 2012). However, for the purposes of this assessment, this undescribed form is still considered as part of the nominal form until such time as it is formally described, so that it is not left in a conservation void.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2013. Bufoides meghalayanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T54800A19625860. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T54800A19625860.en