This species is endemic to the low-elevation dry forest of the Tsingy de Bemaraha and the adjacent Beanka Classified Forest in western Madagascar. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 3,060 km2, and the massif is considered to represent two threat-defined locations because threats in the Beanka Classfied Forest are more severe than the rest of the massif.
Habitat and Ecology
Very little information is available on this species. It has been found in moderately moist dry forest among "tsingy" rocks. The stomach of one specimen contained a large number of medium-sized insect remains (ants and beetles) and pieces of dead leaves from the forest floor. However, it is probably endemic to the Tsingy de Bemaraha massif due to the absence of sufficient humidity outside the karstic habitats elsewhere in the general region (Glaw et al. 2007).
Its breeding is not known, but it is probably a terrestrial, larval developing species that does not require water, like some other members of the genus. One specimen contained more than 100 eggs, indicating that the specimen was ready for reproduction at the end of the rainy season.
The species is rarely encountered and there is no information on its population size. However, localized threats within the massif are suspected to be causing declines.
Habitat loss is a threat to this species. Within the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, some areas of forest are damaged by conversion to agriculture, grazing and charcoal production. Threats in the Beanka Classfied Forest are probably more severe because access to this part of the massif is facilitated by its proximity to the road; illegal activities here are the source of habitat loss and destruction (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2015).
Known localities occur within the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and the Beanka Classified Forest.
The Bemaraha plateau is one of the most peculiar areas of western Madagascar in terms of amphibian richness and endemicity (Raselimanana 2008; Bora et al. 2010). There is a crucial need for conservation action (habitat protection and improved management) in Madagascar’s dry forests due to the increasing deforestation rate and changing climatic scenarios.
Very little is known about the amphibian fauna of this part of Madagascar which stresses the importance of further systematic surveys on distribution and ecology in these isolated areas.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is 3,060 km², it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Plethodontohyla fonetana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136186A49571841. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T136186A49571841.en .Downloaded on 19 February 2019