This species has been reported only from the mountains of western Sabah in Kinabalu and Crocker Range National Parks, and from Bukit (Gunung) Silam, Lahad Dato, in eastern Sabah in Borneo, Malaysia. It occurs at elevations between 900–1,800 m asl. It could occur more widely, such as Mount Trus Madi, however this needs confirmation.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in lowland, submontane, and montane forests, and it can occur in forest edge habitat. It perches in tall shrubs and small trees 2-5 m above the ground. It presumably breeds by direct development.
It is common throughout its range and is one of the most commonly heard species at high elevations within Crocker Range, Kinabalu National Park, and Bukit Silam (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018). However, the frog is rarely seen because individuals usually perch several meters above the ground. The population is thought to be stable.
There are no major threats to this species, as it occurs in two well-protected and well-managed national parks (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018). Bukit Silam is used for some ecotourism activities (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018), however its forest is still intact.
It is present in Kinabalu and Crocker Range National Parks. More than 50% of the population is thought to be contained within protected areas.
Continued management of Crocker Range National Park and Kinabalu National Park in Sabah is necessary for the conservation of this species.
There is a need for taxonomic research for all Philautus species occurring in Malaysian Borneo.
Red List Status
Listed as Least Concern since, although it has a relatively restricted range—its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 21,786 km2—it is common, it occurs in two well-protected and well-managed national parks, where suitable habitat remains, and there are no major threats at present.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Philautus bunitus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T58824A123693430. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T58824A123693430.en .Downloaded on 18 January 2019