This species is known only from 2,050–2,400 m Asl on Mu Hum Mountain, Lai Chau Province, northern Viet Nam (Orlov and Ho 2007). 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 high-elevation parts of Lao Cai Province in Viet Nam and a small section of Yunnan Province, southern China. Further surveys in these areas may uncover its presence there, therefore its range has been projected beyond known sites to include areas of suitable habitat. The species' estimated EOO is 2,383 km2, which represents five threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is associated with cascade streams in primary montane mixed forest and has been observed exclusively on rocky outcrops and vegetation along the stream banks (Orlov and Ho 2007). Reproduction presumably occurs around April-May, as males have been heard calling at this time (Orlov and Ho 2007). Much of the species' reproductive biology is unknown, however it presumably breeds in streams by larval development, as with other Amolops for which the reproductive strategy is known. This species has not been observed in disturbed areas, but the quality of habitat within parts of its range appears to be in decline due to past fire, agriculture (Nguyen and Harder 1996) and tourism (Rowley et al. 2013).
Nothing is known about the size or trends of this species' population except that it has been detected in only one survey and was described from 13 individuals (Orlov and Ho 2007). Population declines are expected for this species due to the effects of historic burning, agriculture (Nguyen and Harder 1996), tourism (Rowley et al. 2013), and possibly climate change (Rowley et al. 2013, Foster 2001).
The historic burning and subsequent ecosystem conversion of some highland areas in this part of Viet Nam to agricultural land, which are thought to have been previously covered in forest (Nguyen and Harder 1996), may have disturbed this species. Current agricultural pressures include a cardamom farm, which is causing declines in the quality of its habitat (T. Nguyen pers. comm. December 2015). Habitat degradation associated with tourism is ongoing in this part of northern Viet Nam (Rowley et al. 2013) and the construction of a cable car from Sa Pa to the summit of Mount Fansipan (T. Nguyen pers. comm. 2015) may affect the species. This species' restriction to high altitudes is likely to present an issue as tropical montane forests are expected to be particularly prone to alteration by climate change (Rowley et al. 2013, Foster 2001).
This species is not known from any protected area, but Jinpingfenshuiling Nature Reserve in China and Hoang Lien National Park in Viet Nam are included within the species' predicted range.
The species is very poorly known, but its conservatively mapped range partially overlaps a protected area. In order to ensure this species' long-term survival, the first priority is to address the lack of data to determine the accuracy of the projected range and the proportion that receives protection. Once this information is available, it will be possible to make more specific recommendations regarding necessary protection
Research should be carried out to determine its distribution, relative abundance, life history and threats.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered as this species has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of only 2,383 km2, is known from only five threat-defined locations, and is facing a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Amolops minutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T159250A126406905. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T159250A85572028.en .Downloaded on 10 December 2018