This species is found in the mountains of the Central Cordilleras and Sierra Madres, on northern Luzon Island in the Philippines. It ranges from 400–1,000 m asl (R. Brown pers. comm.). Platymantis cf. pygmaeus has been recorded from Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park on Sibuyan Island and Tablas Island (Siler et al. 2012), however these localities are not included in the estimate of the species' extent of occurrence (EOO), pending confirmation of these records. The EOO of its current known and confirmed range is 49,602 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits the forest floor litter of montane and lowland rainforests, and breeds by direct development. The males form calling aggregations. It will tolerate some habitat disturbance, but not the removal of forest cover (A. Diesmos pers. comm. March 2018).
It is common in many of the known localities. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The major threat to this species is habitat loss due to small-scale shifting agriculture, expanding human settlements, wood collection for firewood and charcoal production, and illegal logging by commercial entities. In addition, the construction of a major east-west road was completed in 2016 through the western part of Isabela Province and the presence of the road is anticipated to intensify illegal logging activities (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017). In addition, nickel, chromite and gold mining are taking place within the Northern Sierra Madre and the Central Cordillera, as well as limestone and sand quarrying (Philippines Red List Assessment Workshop May 2017).
This species range includes a few protected areas. Since the 2004 assessment, in collaboration with various regional academic institutions, NGO-led awareness campaigns have been taking place to educate the public regarding the need to protect remaining forests on Luzon Island, resulting in positive responses by local communities and improved protection for priority species. As its species name suggests, this is one of the smallest frogs in the Philippines (as small as 15 mm in snout-vent length), and so could represent an important flagship species for conservation efforts in the region.
Enforcement of protected area boundaries and appropriate management practices are required to safeguard the remaining habitat, as well as ongoing awareness campaigns to raise public support. Even though protected areas exist in the species' range, there remains a need for improved protection of remaining forests in the Central Cordilleras and Sierra Madres on Luzon.
Further work is required to better understand the population size, distribution, and trends. There is also a need for further taxonomic research to resolve what might be a species complex.
Red List Status
Listed as Least Concern due to the species wide distribution and presumed large population.
This species probably represents a complex of more than one species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Platymantis pygmaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T29450A58475699. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T29450A58475699.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019