This species is found in northeastern Madagascar from Marotondrano Special Reserve (type locality), Ambatovaky Special Reserve, Ankarana River near Antalaha, Tsararano and Besariaka, between 70-940 m asl (Raselimanana et al. 2014). It is expected to ocurr more widely, namely in the extensive rainforests of Masoala National Park and Makira Reserve (Raselimanana et al. 2014). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 23,339 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is likely restricted to humid rainforest (during surveys all individuals were found in the same habitat), with individuals found on leaf litter at the rainforest edge and under rotten logs in degraded forest in a valley (Raselimanana et al. 2014). Very little is known about its natural history (Raselimanana et al. 2014); and while species of this genus usually reproduce in temporary stagnant water (Vences et al. 2002), this is yet to be verified for this species.
It is known from only a few specimens and it is rarely encountered during the dry season; this is consistent with other Scaphiophryne species which breed explosively during the rainy season, during which time it is abundant, and it all but disappears during the rest of the year. Due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture (including livestock grazing), timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the spread of invasive eucalyptus, fire, and expanding human settlements.
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 Marotondrano Special Reserve and Ambatovaky Special Reserve. It may occur in Makira Reserve (an area that has only recently been given legal protection) and, from its general distribution pattern, its occurrence in Masoala National Park is likely (Raselimanana et al. 2014).
Further research is also essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015).
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is 23,339 km2 and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, which makes it close to qualifying for Vulnerable using criteria B.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Scaphiophryne matsoko. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T78585464A84185490. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T78585464A84185490.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019