This species was previously only known from a few localities covering a very small area in east-central Madagascar: Ifoha west of Mantadia National Park, forest east of Ambohimanarivo, Ambohitantely and outside Zahamena National Park. It is now confirmed to occur within forest bordering the north of Torotorofotsy marsh, Zahamena National Park (Edmonds 2009) and Makira forest (M. Vences pers. comm. August 2016). Its recorded altitudinal range is 800–1,086 m Asl (Edmonds 2009), the extent of occurrence (EOO) of known sites is 33,962 km2, and the area of occupancy (AOO)—taken as the area of mapped range polygons—is 536 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species and a habitat specialist requiring mid-altitude swamps surrounded by forest. The available suitable habitat can be found only in a narrow fringe where the band of eastern rainforest borders the high central plateau (M. Vences pers. comm. August 2016). It occurs at the forest edge and has been found in secondary forest, but not in open areas. Breeding is similar to other Mantella species, with the eggs laid on the ground and the larvae developing in swamps.
It is locally common, but is locally restricted and therefore has a patchy occurrence (M. Vences pers. comm. August 2016). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The forest habitat of this species is under particularly heavy pressure due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the spread of invasive eucalyptus, livestock grazing, and expanding human settlements (M. Vences pers. comm. August 2016). Over-collecting for commercial and private purposes is also a threat (D. Edmonds pers. comm. November 2015).
Species in this genus have also 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).
This species occurs in Zahamena National Park and is likely to occur in Mantadia National Park. It is listed on CITES Appendix II, but no quota has been set.
Habitat protection is the main conservation action required for this species (D. Edmonds pers. comm. November 2015), but trade also needs to be carefully regulated.
Further research is essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015). Taxonomic research is also required to clarify the status of this species, especially in relation to M. milotypanum (D. Edmonds pers. comm. November 2015).
Red List Status
Listed as Least Concern due to its relatively wide extent of occurrence and presumed large population.
This species and Mantella milotympanum might be colour variants of the same species (M. Vences and F. Glaw pers. comm.). Populations with intermediate characteristics between Mantella crocea and M. milotympanum have been recorded from north of Fierenana, Andriabe, Savakoanina and the Zahamena reserve (Chiari et al. 2004).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Mantella crocea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57442A84166552. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T57442A84166552.en .Downloaded on 20 February 2019