Known only from the Ruvu South Forest Reserve in Tanzania at 230 m asl (Gwegime et al. 2013). It might occur more widely, but amphibian surveys throughout coastal Tanzania in the 1990s (Burgess and Clarke 1998) and surveys in forest reserves nearby in 2013-2014 (C. Barratt and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2014), have failed to find it suggesting the species is truly restricted (Barrett et al., in press). Based on current information, the species' range has been roughly mapped to the single locality where it was recorded by Frontier Tanzania in the early 2000s, and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is thus 10 km2 or less.
Habitat and Ecology
Ruvu South Forest Reserve is a small fragment of remaining coastal dry forest. The species is presumed to breed by larval development in small seasonal and permanent ponds.
The species is known from four specimens collected at a single site by Frontier Tanzania during a general biodiversity survey (S. Loader pers. comm. December 2014). Due to severe ongoing habitat loss, the species' population is presumed to be decreasing.
The Zanzibar-Inhambane forest has undergone severe deforestation (Burgess and Clarke 2000) and the trend has increased in severity over the past fifteen years (Gwegime et al. 2013). Gwegime et al. 2013 reported that forest loss is occurring at a rapid rate in Ruvu South Forest Reserve, where charcoal kilns were the most frequent disturbance type found there. Barrett et al. (in press) document specific habitat changes at the type locality that might explain its absence.
The species is only known from the Ruvu South Forest Reserve.
Increased protection of remaining forest is urgently required. Further research is needed on the species' population size, distribution and trends.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered as its extent of occurrence is limited to the 10 km2 of remaining coastal forest, it is known from a single threat-defined location, and there is ongoing and rapid decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in eastern Tanzania.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Hyperolius ruvuensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69119695A69123103. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T69119695A69123103.en