This species is known from Montagne d'Ambre, Tsaratanana and Manongarivo in northern Madagascar at 500-1,200m asl. Records from Morapitsaka and Matsaborimaiky in Bemanevika forest, from higher elevations up to 1,780m asl, require genetic confirmation (Rabearivony et al., 2010). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 11,509 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in pristine rainforest only where males have been found calling at night from bushes 0.5-1.5 m from the ground, usually close to small streams (Glaw and Vences, 2007). While this species ws previously assumed to reproduce by direct development, tadpoles of this species were described from streams by Randrianiaina et al. (2007).
It is locally abundant, but overall severely fragmented as the Montagne d'Ambre subpopulation is isolated from the rest by about 100 km of unsuitable habitat. Due to ongoing declines in the extent and quality of habitat the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture (including livestock grazing), timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the spread of invasive eucalyptus, and expanding human settlements.
Species in this genus have tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), however currently there have been no negative effects observed within amphibian populations in Madagascar suggesting the Bd strain has a low virulence level (Bletz et al., 2015).
It occurs in the Parc National de Montagne d'Ambre and Réserve Spéciale de Manongarivo. It is also likely to occur in the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale du Tsaratanana.
Improved protection and management of forests throughout the region is required, including within the boundaries of protected areas.
Further research is required to clarify the species' distribution, population size and trends, and is essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al., 2015).
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence is 11,509 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented and it is known from fewer than ten threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in northern Madagascar.
This species belongs to the Gephyromantis asper group and was split from it prior to its first assessment in 2004. The population from Manongarivo is genetically distinct (F. Glaw pers.comm. November 2015).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Gephyromantis ambohitra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57458A84168942. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T57458A84168942.en