This species is known only from 1,700–2,113 m Asl in the Ngoc Linh Mountain Range, Kon Tum Province, central Viet Nam (Orlov 2005, Jodi Rowley unpubl. data). 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 Quang Nam Province, Viet Nam. 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. There was a record of this species in Chu Yang Sin National Park, Dak Lak Province (Orlov et al. 2008), however this has been contested and after ongoing surveys between 2012 and 2014 without the species being detected, has been deemed unlikely (Nickolay Poyarkov pers. comm. February 2017). This species' estimated EOO is 570 km2, which consists of two threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is associated with montane evergreen forest (Orlov 2005, Jodi Rowley unpubl. data). Reproduction presumably occurs prior to March in the beginning of the rainy season; adult males have been observed at this time withreduced cephalic spines indicating recent breeding season (Orlov 2005). The species reproduces by aquatic larval development, and tadpoles have been observed in a rocky stream in July (Jodi Rowley unpubl. data). Habitat throughout much of this species' range is undergoing a continuing decline in quality and extent due to the effects of expanding agriculture (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008, Sodhi et al. 2009, Meyfroidt et al. 2013).
Little is known about the size of this species' population, except that it has been detected in three surveys (Chen et al. 1984, Orlov 2005, Jodi Rowley unpubl. data), otherwise the species' population trends are unknown. Deforestation continues to affect habitat in the species' range (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008, Sodhi et al. 2009, Meyfroidt et al. 2013), and is very likely causing declines. Surveys are needed to determine its relative abundance and population trends.
Habitat loss and degradation due to the effects of rapidly expanding agriculture is an ongoing threat to biodiversity throughout Southeast Asia (Sodhi et al. 2009). This is a particularly pressing threat in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam; large areas of forest are converted to agricultural land to grow cash crop plantations (e.g. rubber, coffee and tea) (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008, Meyfroidt et al. 2013). Recent satellite imagery reveals areas of land cleared for agriculture throughout parts of this species' range.
This species is known from Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Viet Nam (Orlov 2005).
Enhanced protection of the species' habitat in areas vulnerable to disturbance may be necessary to mitigate further declines in this species. However, 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 570 km2, is expected from two threat-defined locations, and is facing a continuing decline in the quality of parts of its habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Leptobrachium ngoclinhense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T135898A86217177. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T135898A86217177.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019