This species is known only from 300–1220 m Asl in Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, Bac Giang Province (Hecht et al. 2013), and Mau Son, Lang Son Province, northern Viet Nam (Dubois and Ohler 2009). These may not represent the actual limits of the species’ range as similar habitat and elevations to those in its known localities occur in adjacent parts of Lang Son, Bac Giang, Hai Duong and Quang Ninh Provinces in Viet Nam, as well as in southern Guangxi Province, China. Further surveys in these areas may uncover its presence there. This species’ EOO is 7,310 km2, which represents two threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
There is little documentation on this species’ habitats, ecology and life history, however it appears to be associated with rocky streams (Hecht et al. 2013). Tay Yen Tu and Mau Son are mountainous and relatively forested, however recent satellite imagery shows that human settlements and some associated forest loss have occurred throughout parts of the Mau Son area. The species presumably deposits eggs in streams and has an aquatic free-living larval stage as do other Quasipaa for which the reproductive strategy is known.
Very little is known about the size and trends of this species’ population, except that from the Mau Son locality one individual was collected in 1903 (Boulenger 1903, Bourret 1942), another in the 1920s (Bourret 1942), 14 in the 1930s (Bourret 1937, Bourret 1942), and four individuals were collected from Tay Yen Tu in 2009 (Hecht et al. 2013). Some population declines are expected for this species due to the effects of expanding agriculture on its habitat and its potential harvest for food. Further surveys are warranted to determine this and the species’ true abundance.
Expanding agriculture is ongoing throughout Viet Nam and has been identified as a major threat to its biodiversity (Sodhi et al. 2010). No threatening processes have been recorded as specifically affecting this species, however satellite imagery shows that human settlements occur throughout its known range; forest loss and harvesting of the species for food are therefore likely threats.
This species is protected in Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve (Hecht et al. 2013) and its estimated range also occupies part of Huu Lien Nature Reserve.
Due to its presence in two protected areas and the need for additional information, no conservation recommendations can be made at this point. Therefore, addressing the lack of data is the first step towards ensuring its long-term persistence;
Further research on the species’ range, threats, rate of harvest, life history, and the size and trends of its population would inform conservation decisions.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable as this species’ extent of occurrence (EOO) is 7,310 km2, which consists of only two threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Quasipaa acanthophora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T48109439A54032034. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T48109439A54032034.en .Downloaded on 10 December 2018