This species is currently only known from its type locality: Gunung Murud, Sarawak, East Malaysia (northwestern Borneo), at 2,120 m asl (Das 2008). The subpopulation in the same locality which was previously thought to belong to Pelophryne misera has now been assigned to this species (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). It is a montane species that is thought to be endemic to Gunung Murud, likely from an area smaller than 5 km2 (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). It occurs in one threat-defined location and its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in montane forests with canopies reaching ca 20 m. Individuals have been found at night on vegetation at the edges of forest trails, or calling on vegetation up to 3 m above the ground (Inger et al. 2017). Its tadpole remains unknown, although the species is suspected to breed in the pitchers of Nepenthes plants (Das 2008).
It is a difficult species to detect due to its arboreal nature (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Even though its type locality is within the recently gazetted Pulong Tau National Park, it is subject to subsistence logging (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). The habitat in Pulong Tau National Park faces encroachment from logging companies, as it has only been recently gazetted (in the last 2-3 years) and there is no current infrastructure or field staff in place, so it is not well protected at present (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). Clear-felling and large-scale logging concessions are also happening within parts of the national park, although the type locality of this species lies just outside the range of commercial hardwoods (I. Das pers. comm. 2009). Climate change is likely to be a future threat (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
Gunung Murud is found in Pulong Tau National Park, which has only been recently gazetted and there is no current infrastructure or field staff in place, so it is not well protected at present (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
Enforcement of the park's boundaries is needed to address logging issues within the park (Malaysia Red List Assessment Workshop March 2018).
Further research is needed into the life history and ecology of this species.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered, as a precautionary approach, because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10 km2, it occurs in a single threat-defined location, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Gunung Murud area due to logging activities. Pulong Tau National Park has only recently been gazetted and there is no infrastructure in place to provide habitat protection at present.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Pelophryne murudensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T159222A123694230. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T159222A123694230.en .Downloaded on 16 February 2019