This species is only known from humid forests in northeast Madagascar, between 650–1,300m asl. Most specimens have been collected from the Marojejy Massif (including the Betaolana corridor), but the species is known to occur as far north as the Sorata Massif (Cramer et al., 2008). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 7,236 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
The species is known from areas by the edges of rivers and small fast-flowing streams. Individuals were found on leaves, branches, and tree trunks, at heights of 0.8-4 m above the forest floor. It lays its eggs on leaves overhanging water, and tadpoles are free swimming and develop in streams (Cramer et al., 2008).
There is little information available on the population size and trends of this species, but it is relatively abundant in suitable habitat along streams in rainforest. Due to ongoing declines in the extent and quality of 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, and expanding human settlements. Pressure from these threats are high on the Sorata Massif (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2015).
Intensive illegal wood extraction of rosewood species within Marojejy National Park that followed the 2009 political crisis of Madagascar caused concerns for the survival of rainforest–restricted species, such as this one. However, while illegal rosewood logging has probably ceased, wood extraction currently taking place in the Park seems to occur at lower elevations and is not thought to have reached elevations where this species has been recorded; along the boundaries of Marojejy deforestation is taking place to clear land for agriculture (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2015).
It is known to occur in the Marojejy National Park.
Habitat destruction in Sorata should be halted and it should be included in the network of Madagascar protected areas. Improved protection and management of forests throughout the region is required, including within the boundaries of current protected areas.
Further research is required to clarify the species' distribution, population size and trends.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurence (EOO) is 7,236 km2, it is known from fewer than 10 threat-defined locations and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat in the forests of northern Madagascar, including within Marojejy National Park.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Spinomantis tavaratra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T49582559A49582769. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T49582559A49582769.en