This poorly known species is so far known only from three localities: its type locality at Rumpi, in northern Malawi; Mulenge Forest, in south-central Tanzania, and Katavi National Park, in western Tanzania. It presumably occurs in intervening areas, and perhaps more widely, but the extent of occurrence (EOO) of its current known range is 124,339 km2. Its altitudinal range is unclear, though it has been reported from a site at about 800 m Asl (Gardner et al. 2007) and probably occurs above 1,200 m Asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It appears to be restricted to marshy areas in dry forest and grassland, especially where there is vegetation in the water. In western Tanzania it has been reported for riverine, woodland, mbuga (seasonally flooded grassland) and cultivated areas (Gardner et al. 2007). It presumably breeds in marshes and well-vegetated, lentic waterbodies.
The population status of this species is unknown.
In western Tanzania, much of the miombo woodland area is increasingly threatened by habitat degradation following conversion to agriculture or overharvesting (Gardner et al. 2007). Though this species has been found in cultivated areas and thus demonstrates some degree of tolerance to modified habitats, the degree to which agricultural expansion affects the species is poorly understood.
It occurs in Mulenge Forest Reserve, Katavi National Park and the type locality is close to Nyika National Park, in which it is also likely to occur.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history, and threats.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification and presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2017. Phrynobatrachus stewartae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58142A77162799. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T58142A77162799.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019