This species is relatively widely distributed in north-eastern Madagascar, between 0-600 m asl. It was previously known from Marojejy south to Folohy, the type locality probably situated north of Toamasina, but has now also been recorded from Betampona Strict Nature Reserve (Rosa et al. 2012). It is known from more than five localities and probably occurs at more sites than are currently known. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 33,702 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a rainforest species, which is often particularly abundant in bamboo forest and other types of forest with abundant tree holes (in which it breeds). It is primarily terrestrial but also climbs on low vegetation.
It is locally abundant. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, invasive spread of eucalyptus, livestock grazing and expanding human settlements. It is traded in low numbers for the international pet trade, but not at a level that is likely to constitute a threat.
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).
This species occurs in several protected areas including Mananara Biosphere Reserve, Marojejy National Park, Masoala National Park, Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve (Rabemananjara et al. 2007) and Betampona et al. 2012 (Rosa et al. 2012). It is also maintained and bred in several facilities outside Madagascar, and is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Further research is essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015).
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern because of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Mantella laevigata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57445A84167090. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T57445A84167090.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019