This species is known only from a single locality at 1,850 m Asl on Fansipan Mountain, Lao Cai Province, northern Viet Nam (Ohler et al. 2000). This is unlikely to represent the actual limits of the species' range as similar habitat and elevations to those in its known locality occur in adjacent parts of northern Viet Nam and southern China. Further surveys in these areas are likely to uncover its presence there, therefore its range has been projected beyond known sites to include these areas of suitable habitat. This species' estimated EOO is 2,597 km2, which consists of three threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
The only known observation of this species occurred in July, when individuals were observed calling from branches and leaves during heavy rain adjacent to a stream in montane forest (Ohler et al. 2000). The species' reproductive biology is not been observed, however oviposition and a free-swimming larval stage is expected, as is the case in all other Leptolalax species for which the reproductive strategy is known. The quality of some habitat within this species' range is currently in decline due to the effects of tourism (Jodi Rowley pers. comm. November 2015).
Very little is known about this species' population size except that it has been detected in only one survey (Ohler et al. 2000) despite various other herpetological surveys at and near the type locality (e.g. Dubois 1983). The species' population trends are unknown, however it is likely in decline due to past and present habitat loss and disturbance (Nguyen and Harder 1996, Jodi Rowley pers. comm. November 2015). Further surveys are needed to determine this and its relative abundance.
Historic burning and subsequent ecosystem conversion of the summit of Mount Fansipan and adjacent areas, which are thought to have been previously covered in forest (Nguyen and Harder 1996), is likely to have disturbed this species. Agriculture is also ongoing within the species' range and individuals have been observed on land cleared for crop production (Ohler et al. 2011). Habitat degradation including pollution associated with tourism is likely also affecting the species to some extent (Jodi Rowley pers. comm. November 2015).
This species is known from Hoang Lien National Park in Viet Nam (Ohler et al. 2000, Ohler et al. 2011), and a number of other protected areas are included in its predicted range in both Viet Nam and southern China.
Additional strategies for additional protection of habitat within its range may be warranted, but addressing the lack of data is the first step towards ensuring this species' long-term persistence.
Further research on its true distribution, threats, and the size and trends of its population would inform conservation decisions.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered as this species has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of only 2,597 km2, is expected from three threat-defined locations, and is facing a continuing decline in the quality of parts of its habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Leptolalax pluvialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57574A86430531. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T57574A86430531.en .Downloaded on 17 January 2019