This species is known from the Uluguru Mountains of Tanzania between the altitudes of 1,800-2,050 m asl. The limits of its range are unknown, but the Eastern Arc Mountains are relatively well-sampled and no specimens have been recorded elsewhere; furthermore, patterns of endemism in the Ulugurus indicate most species are found only in this massif, suggesting that it is unlikely to occur more widely (S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015). Using its known range as a proxy, its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 522 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a soil-dwelling species found in montane forest. It probably also survives in secondary habitat such as small-holder agricultural allotments (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015). It is viviparous (Parker and Dunn 1964) and does not depend on water bodies for reproduction.
Historically, it was recorded as locally abundant (Barbour and Loveridge 1928). The species has been collected since Loveridge's first collection, including 1999-2000 (Doggart et al. 2000), 2001-2003 (Ngalason, 2011), and 2013 (Loader pers. comm. December 2015).
There are no known major threats, but assuming that soil moisture and temperature maintained by vegetation is important for the species, possible threats include habitat disturbance and conversion caused by deforestation and agricultural intensification (including the application of agricultural herbicides and pesticides) (D. Gower and S. Loader pers. comm. December 2015). It is not known to what extent these activities may threaten this species.
It occurs in the Uluguru Nature Reserve, but small-holder agriculture is encroaching on the protected forest (Burgess et al. 2002).
Increased protection of this reserve and possibly the rest of the species' habitat is required.
Further research is needed on its population status and trends, life history and ecology, the effect of ongoing threats on the species, and necessary conservation actions.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered due to its extent of occurrence of 522 km2 which, although its range is poorly known, is unlikely to be larger since it is thought to be endemic to the Uluguru Mountains. Ongoing habitat loss within its range means that the species occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Scolecomorphus uluguruensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59652A16944643. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T59652A16944643.en .Downloaded on 21 November 2018