This species occurs in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Nord-Kivu), western Rwanda, western and south-western Uganda, and western Burundi. It seems to occur mainly above 1,500 m asl, ranging to at least 2,300 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 36,443 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a leaf-litter species of mountain forest that is particularly associated with swamps and rivulets. The eggs are laid and the larvae develop in these waterbodies. It occurs only in undisturbed habitats.
In Uganda, the species is recorded as being common in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, but uncommon in Kibale Forest (J. Vonesh pers. comm.), and only a few specimens are collected from other localities. Thus, Bwindi may be the only locality with an abundant population. However, due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, its population is presumed to be decreasing.
The species is threatened by habitat loss caused by agriculture (crops and livestock) activities, wood extraction, and expanding human settlements.
It is only known from protected areas: Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kibale National Park (Uganda), and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda), which are relatively well-protected despite political instability in the area, but require ongoing and in some cases improved management and habitat protection. The species is unlikely to occur outside these areas as they protect the remaining forest of the region. Further research is required on the species population size, distribution and trends, and its life history and ecology.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern due to its relatively wide distribution, its presumed large population, and its presence in relatively well-protected parks.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Phrynobatrachus versicolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58148A16942325. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T58148A16942325.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019