This species is known from its' type locality in Marojejy National Park and 'Andranomadio' on the Ambolokopatrika/Betaoloana ridge, both in Sava region, and Angozongahy on the western side of Makira Plateau, Analanjirofo region, northeast Madagascar (Scherz et al. 2016). It is possible that it occurs into COMATSA (the protected rainforest corridor between Marojejy, Anjanaharibe-Sud and Tsaratanana) protected areas, but this requires further surveys (M.D. Scherz pers. comm. August 2016). It occurs between 860-1,326 m asl (Scherz et al. 2016) and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4,190 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been found in dense primary rainforest, with individuals observed calling from leaflitter in Makira (Scherz et al. 2016). It is presumed to breed by larval development using foam nests, similar to other species in the genus (M.D. Scherz pers. comm. August 2016).
Stomach contents were found to contain a small snail (tentatively identified as a member of Subulinidae), which is the first record of a Rhombophryne species predating upon gastropods (Scherz et al. 2016).
It is known from seven individuals. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, invasive spread of eucalyptus, livestock grazing and expanding human settlements.
Intensive illegal wood extraction of rosewood species within Marojejy National Park that followed the 2009 political crisis of Madagascar caused concerns for the survival of rainforest–restricted species, such as this one. However, while illegal rosewood logging has probably ceased, wood extraction currently taking place in the Park seems to occur at lower elevations; along the boundaries of Marojejy deforestation is taking place to clear land for agriculture (F. Glaw pers. comm. November 2015). Mining and harvesting of hardwood trees are particular threats to forest habitat of Anjanahasaribe-Sud and COMATSA (Randriamalala and Liu 2010, Patel and Welch 2013) which are in between the known localities of this species (Scherz et al. 2016).
This species occurs in Marojejy National Park and Makira Natural Park (Scherz et al. 2016), although anthropogenic activities continue to threaten the forest within them (Patel and Welch 2013). The locality of Ambolokopatrika is unportected but forms part of the proposed protected area which encompasses the forest corridor connecting Marojejy with Tsaratanana (Scherz et al. 2016).
Improved protection and management of forests throughout the region is required, including within the boundaries of protected areas.
Further research is required on the ecology of this species and to determine its' full distribution.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4,190 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat in northeast Madagascar.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Rhombophryne botabota. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T100339930A100339932. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T100339930A100339932.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019