This species is only known to occur within Virachey National Park, Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia at 600-850 m asl. Its range probably extends into adjacent areas of the Kon Tum Plateau including Dong Amphan National Protected Area in Lao People's Democratic Republic and Mom Ray Nature Reserve in Viet Nam (Rowley et al. 2010). Although this is yet to be confirmed, its range map includes suitable habitat contiguous with the species' known localities. At present, however, the species' known locality is small and represents only one threat-defined location and an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 3,792 km². This EOO is also likely in decline due to deforestation (Bottomley 2000, Conservation International 2007, Grimsditch 2012).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is closely associated with rocky streams within hilly evergreen forest. Males have been observed calling from on rocks, in crevices, on tree roots, and under leaf litter during the monsoon season (approximately April - November), when reproduction is expected to occur (Rowley et al. 2010). Eggs and larvae of L. melicus are unknown, however it likely has a free-swimming larval stage like all other Leptolalax species for which larvae are known (J. Rowley pers. comm., February 2015). The quality and area of this species' habitat is in decline due to encroachment of logging and damming projects (Bottomley 2000; Conservation International 2007; Grimsditch 2012).
Very little information is available on the population of this species, except that it was described from seven individuals (Rowley et al. 2010), which are, as yet, the only individuals to have been recorded. Further surveys are warranted to determine this species' population size and trends, but due to ongoing loss of forest habitats in the region, its population is suspected to be decreasing.
The only known habitat of this species is within Virachey National Park, which is bordered by other protected areas. However habitat within this area is threatened by logging and upstream hydroelectric dams (Bottomley 2000, Conservation International 2007, Grimsditch 2012).
Very little is currently known about this species' distribution and ecology. Addressing the lack of data is the first step towards ensuring its survival; further surveys should be carried out to determine whether it is truly restricted to Virachey National Park.
Red List Status
This species is listed as Endangered due to its relatively small estimated extent of occurrence of 3,792 km², which appears to be declining in both size and quality of habitat. The species' population is also restricted as only one threat-defined location is known.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Leptolalax melicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T48101708A48101712. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T48101708A48101712.en .Downloaded on 13 November 2018