This species is mostly known from lowland forests in Sabah, Malaysia, but has also been found at several sites in Central, Eastern and Northern Kalimatan Provinces, Indonesia. Genetic tests on the record from Sulawesi in Indonesia mentioned in the 2004 assessment have revealed that it is no longer thought to belong to Limnonectes finchi (D. Iskandar pers. comm. May 2017). This species probably occurs more widely than current records suggest, especially in adjacent areas with suitable lowland and submontane forest remaining. It is present at elevations below 1,300 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in the litter stratum of pristine lowland forests, but has also been recorded from old secondary forest and is never far from a water body. Males guard small clutches of eggs under dead leaves and carry tadpoles to small rain pools on the forest floor where the larvae then develop.
The species is known only from about 20 specimens in Indonesia, but this is most likely a reflection of its patchy distribution rather than its rarity (D. Iskandar pers. comm. May 2017). In Malaysia, it appears to be an uncommon species, but is more common in protected areas (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its lowland forest habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
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). In eastern Sabah, the expansion of oil palm plantations presents a threat to the species' lowland forest habitat, however the species is adequately protected in several national parks (P. Yambun pers. comm. January 2018).
The species has been recorded from a number of protected areas in Borneo, including Crocker Range and Kinabalu National Parks, Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tawau Hills Park, and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. It probably also occurs in Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary in eastern Sabah.
Effective preservation of lowland forest is needed to conserve this species because oil palm plantations are encroaching into protected areas in Kalimantan. Some oil palm companies and forestry companies designate High Conservation Value areas, which is required by some financial institutions providing loans. However, not all lenders require these areas to be set aside and the habitat within the HCVs could disappear if the lender or requirements change (Indonesia Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017).
More information is needed on this species distribution, population status and trends.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Limnonectes finchi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T58333A114920775. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T58333A114920775.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019