This species has a patchy distribution throughout Borneo in Sarawak (Malaysia), Sabah (Malaysia), Brunei Darussalam, and Kalimantan (Indonesia), below 300 m asl. In Sarawak, it is known from the type locality five miles north of Labang, Fourth Division, and Nanga Tekalit, Mengiong River (Inger 1966), Gunung Mulu National Park (Haas et al. 2012), Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, and Gunung Penrissen (at 950 m asl; Mohd-Azlan et al. 2016). In Kalimantan, it occurs at scattered sites in West and Central Kalimantan Provinces, including Sebadak Raya Village, Ketapang District and Gunung Tarak Protected Forest, Ketapang District (Mediyansyah pers. comm. May 2017). It also occurs in Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei Darussalam (Grafe and Keller 2008). The record from Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah (Sheridan et al. 2012) needs to be verified through additional surveys and taxonomic studies (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018).
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in primary and secondary lowland rainforest, and at forest edges. It breeds in water by larval development in shallow, rainwater-filled ditches (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018). Eggs are deposited in foam nests attached to leaves, branches, or roots overhanging the surface of the water (Haas et al. 2012). Specimens were attracted to artificial ponds during a study in Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre in Ulu Temburong National Park (Grafe and Keller 2008).
It is locally abundant at some sites.
The principal threat to the species is rapid clear-cutting of lowland tropical rainforest in forest concession land and for oil palm plantations (Indonesia Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). It occurs in two well-protected and well-managed areas in Sarawak (I. Das. pers. comm. March 2018) and one in Brunei (Grafe and Keller 2008). The area of Penrissen, Sarawak has a long history of agriculture, especially rice, although rubber and pepper are also grown in all except the steepest terrain (Mohd-Azlan et al. 2016). Major development projects commenced in the Gunung Penrissen area in the last decade, with the view of promoting ecotourism and golf-tourism (Mohd-Azlan et al. 2016). In the Upper Baleh area, there is a hydro-electric dam development that is planned to begin in 2018 and may pose a threat to this species (I. Das pers. comm. March 2018).
It has been reported from Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei, and Gunung Tarak Protected Forest in Kalimantan. Its presence in Danum Valley Conservation Area needs to be confirmed (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018).
Expansion of effective preservation of lowland rainforest and continued management of existing protected areas is essential for the conservation of this species.
Further research on this species' distribution, population size and trends is recommended.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population. However, since this species depends on undisturbed forest habitat and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat is declining due to widespread forest loss within its range, its population should be monitored.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Rhacophorus rufipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T59020A114926239. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T59020A114926239.en .Downloaded on 21 January 2019