This species is known from scattered localities in northwestern and western Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei Darussalam). In Sabah, it is known from Tawau Hills Park and Danum Valley Conservation Area (Inger et al. 2017, P. Yambun pers. comm. 2018). Photographic evidence of this species from Gomantong Caves in Sabah suggests the species may also occur there, however this needs to be confirmed (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018). In Sarawak, it is present in Kubah National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Gunung Penrissen, Santubong National Park among others (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). In Brunei, it occurs in Ulu Temburong National Park. It is present at elevations below 700 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been found in a variety of lowland rainforest environments. Most individuals have been seen on low shrubs. Breeding takes place by direct development, and the eggs have been found laid on dry medium in vegetation (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
It is considered common in Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei. In Sarawak, it is common and considered to be the most common species in the genus (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The major threat is expansion of oil palm and logging of the lowland forest habitat outside of protected areas in Borneo, and much of the suitable habitat has already been lost. In Sabah, there are no threats to the species as the areas where it is found are very well protected and well managed (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018). The area of Gunung Penrissen has a long history of agriculture, especially rice, although rubber and pepper are also grown in all except the steepest terrain (Min et al. 2011). The remaining suitable habitat within its range has almost entirely been converted for recreational use (Gunung Penrissen has been converted into an 18-hole golf course and a 25 acre area of ‘flower garden and theme parks’), or converted to cultivated land, but there is still some suitable habitat available. The habitat in Santubong National Park faces encroachment from housing and tourism development which is causing the drainage of peat swamp habitat (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). This park has only been recently gazetted (in the last 2-3 years) and there is no current infrastructure or field staff in place, so it is not well protected at present (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). As well as the current threats, there is also ongoing pressure for the development of a cable car within the park (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
This species is known from Gunung Mulu National Park, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Kubah National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Gunung Penrissen, Santubong National Park (Sarawak); Tawau Hills Park and Danum Valley Conservation Area (Sabah); and Ulu Temburong National Park (Brunei). Santubong National Park has only been recently gazetted (in the last 2-3 years) and there is no current infrastructure or field staff in place, so it is not well protected at present (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
Continued management of established protected areas and effective protection of areas of lowland rainforest is essential for the species' conservation.
There is a need for taxonomic research for all Philautus species occurring in Malaysian Borneo.
Red List Status
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Philautus tectus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T58923A123693933. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T58923A123693933.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019