This species is known with certainty from the East and West Usambara Mountains and the Nguu Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania. Its elevational ranges varies from 180 m to at least 1,200 m asl. Taking range as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), this is estimated to be ca 1,003 km2. Its range is not likely to increase much more, and it is currently estimated to occur in five threat-defined locations, which are likely to decrease in number once taxonomy of this complex is resolved (S. Loader and J. Vonesh pers. comm. June 2012).
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in lowland and montane forest, and has also been found in moderately disturbed habitats in the East Usambaras (S. Loader and J. Vonesh pers. comm June 2012). It does not occur in heavily disturbed forest or in open areas. However, it is locally abundant in stands of introduced bamboo in the Amani Botanic Garden. It is sometimes associated with wild bananas (Barbour and Loveridge 1928). The eggs are deposited in hollow bamboo stems or leaf axils and tree holes where water is trapped, and where the larvae develop (Harper et al. 2010).
It is generally an uncommon species, and is very hard to find outside the breeding season. However, it is easily found in the Amani Botanic Garden in the East Usambaras during the breeding season due to the extensive stands of exotic bamboo, with which it is closely associated. Its population is considered to be severely fragmented (S. Loader and J. Vonesh pers. comm. June 2012).
It is almost certainly adversely affected by ongoing forest loss and degradation, especially from encroaching small-scale agriculture. The area was historically impacted by intensive small-scale artisanal gold mining; however, it is unlikely that this species was severely impacted given that it is not stream-dependent (J. Vonesh and S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
It occurs in the Amani and Nilo Nature Reserves, and in several forest reserves in East and West Usambaras and in Nguu Mountain (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012); although these reserves are relatively well protected in comparison to other protected areas in the region, there is still a need for increased protection and improved management (S. Loader and J. Vonesh pers. comm. June 2012). More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status and natural history, as well as clarification on its taxonomic identity.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 1,003 km2, its population is considered to be severely fragmented, it is considered to occur in five threat-defined locations, and the quality and extent of its montane forest habitat in the Usambara and Nguu Mountains is declining.
Molecular data suggest that there are more than one species under this name (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Hoplophryne rogersi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T57822A17170304. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T57822A17170304.en .Downloaded on 24 January 2019