This species is known only from an unspecific geographic locality: hills to the west of Amani, in the East Usambara Mountains, in northeastern Tanzania (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). Heading further west of Amani, however, the edge of the East Usambaras is less than 10 km away (S. Stuart pers. comm. July 2013), suggesting that the species' potential range is not very large (possibly well under 100 km2). Furthermore, the entire area has been (and continues to be) deforested since the 1920s (when the species was collected), making it qualify as a single threat-defined location.
Habitat and Ecology
The only known individual was found in a wild banana in a forested hill (Barbour and Loveridge 1928). No other information is available on its habitat and ecology.
It is known only from the holotype. There have been no records since the late 1920s, despite extensive herpetological work in the Amani area, East Usambaras, and even further west, West Usambaras or Pares (though perhaps not quite in the area where this species occurs) (S. Loader and K. Howell pers. comm. June 2012). Considering the extent of surveys undertaken without recent records and the degree of habitat degradation in the area, this species could be possibly extinct.
The general area where this species is purported to occur was historically impacted by tea plantations established in the 1930s and continued tea plantations throughout several decades (S. Stuart pers. comm. July 2013). Nowadays, the area is affected by encroaching small-scale agriculture (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
If still extant it could possibly could occur in the Amani Nature Reserve, although it has not so far been recorded there, despite intensive sampling. Urgent survey work is needed to determine the status of this species and whether or not it even still survives in the wild.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO), while unquantifiable, is unlikely to surpass 100 km2, it is known from a single location which has been and continues to be largely deforested, and there is ongoing habitat decline in the hills west of Amani, in the East Usambara Mountains. There have been no sightings of this species since its discovery in the 1920s, in spite of intensive sampling in the general area, suggesting that it may be extremely rare or even possibly extinct.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Parhoplophryne usambarica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T57946A13323507. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-1.RLTS.T57946A13323507.en .Downloaded on 19 November 2018