This species is only known from Morningside Forest Reserve, near Rakwana in the Sinharaja area, southwestern Sri Lanka, at 1,060 m asl (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005, M. Meegaskambura and M. Wickramasinghe pers. comm. 2016). Previous records of this species from Pituwala are now assigned to its sister species, Pseudophilautus mittermeieri (M. Meegaskambura and M. Wickramasinghe pers. comm. 2016). Its extent of occurrence is 49 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs with patchy distribution in closed-canopy forest and cardamom plantations within forest, usually close to water and above 900 m asl (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005, M. Meegaskambura pers. comm. 2016). Adult males have been observed at night, vocalizing while perched on low shrubs, 0.3-2 m above ground (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). This species breeds by direct development, it is not dependent upon water and eggs are laid in deep holes in the ground excavated by the females. Froglets show adult colouration (Bahir et al. 2005).
There is little information on its population size and trend. However, it is likely to be a rare species and population decline was observed in 2011 (Meegaskumbura et al. 2012).
The major threat to this species is habitat loss due to encroachment by cardamom plantations, expansion of human settlements and firewood collection which lead to deforestation and habitat fragmentation (Bahir et al. 2005, Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005).
This species occurs in the largest remnant of Sri Lanka's forests, the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve, and in forest reserves bordering its eastern margin. A long-term monitoring study has been started a few years ago in the area occupied by this species (Morningside Forest Reserve just to the east of Sinharaja) to restore critically important habitats (Meegaskumbura et al. 2012).
A long-term monitoring study in Morningside Forest Reserve started a few years ago with the aim of restoring important habitats (i.e. non-establishment of invasive species, reforestation, restoration of connectivity among forest patches) (Meegaskumbura et al. 2012).
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats are needed.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 49 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat around Morningside Forest Reserve in southern Sri Lanka.
Named as Philautus decoris by Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda in 2005, the genus has been revised and replaced with Pseudophilautus by Li et al. in 2009.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Pseudophilautus decoris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58834A89262191. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T58834A89262191.en .Downloaded on 16 January 2019