It is not known if this species is present in any protected areas. Further field studies are urgently needed to locate any remaining populations and also to study the natural history of this little-known species.
This species is known only from the holotype collected from Owi Island in the Paidaido Islands east of Supiori-Biak, Papua Province, Indonesia. It is probably a small island endemic.
There is no information available on population abundance of this species. According to Fisher and Blomberg (2011), the last sighting of Emma's Giant Rat was in 1946. Recent collecting efforts have not located this animal.
This species is threatened by deforestation. It is susceptible to changes in its habitat since it is known from a small island system.