Conservation ActionsThis species is currently only known from Hoang Lien National Park (Rowley et al. 2013). However, as habitat degradation from tourism practises is an ongoing threat, strategies for additional protection of habitat within its range is warranted. Further research into the species' ecology, distribution, abundance and population trends would improve conservation decisions.
Location InformationThis species is known only from three localities, each less that 5 km apart in the Hoang Lien National Park, Lao Cai Province, Viet Nam. Its currently known elevation range is between 2,578-2,815 m asl (Rowley et al. 2013, Nguyen et al. 2020). At the time of its description, the species was only known from 2,795-2,815 m asl, and Rowley et al. (2013) estimated that its range may include some of the few small, isolated areas above 2,700 m asl in adjacent parts of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. Such areas are about 20 km or more away, however the species' recent discovery at 2,578 m asl (Nguyen et al. 2020), makes it seem more likely that it occurs in a chain of areas above 1,550 m asl extending approximately 15 km southeast of known localities, each separated by distances of less that 1 km. The species has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of only 36 km2, and is known from only one threat-defined location, and is thus very restricted geographically.
Population InformationVery little is known about the size and trends of this species' population except that seven adult males and two adult females were found during surveys in 2012 (Rowley et al. 2013), and the species was detected again during surveys in 2015 (J. Rowley pers. comm. January 2016). During a series of eight surveys between 2017 and 2019, adults were detected 40 times, however it is possible that the same individuals were observed more than once (Nguyen et al. unpubl. data August 2020). The species is difficult to detect, even when calling (Rowley et al. 2013). The population is very likely to be in decline due to past and present habitat loss and disturbance, and pollution, which are ongoing in its range and specifically at one of its known localities (Rowley et al. 2013, Nguyen et al. 2020).
The most immediate threat to this species' persistence is habitat degradation associated with tourism. Pollution by garbage and runoff from toilets is affecting the habitat of the species (Rowley et al. 2013, J. Rowley pers. comm. January 2016) and the construction of a cable car from Sa Pa to the summit of Mount Fansipan is likely to affect it (T. Nguyen pers. comm. 2015). Vegetation adjacent to the stream is being cut for use as fuel (J. Rowley pers. comm. January 2016). In addition, rocks and gravel that make up the species' larval microhabitat are being mined directly from streams for the construction and lining of tourist walking paths. This was observed in the same stream and only several hundred metres from where a tadpole was observed, and the rate of gravel removal was observed to increase over surveys from 2017 to 2019 (Nguyen et al. 2020). Historic burning and subsequent ecosystem conversion of the summit of Mount Fansipan and adjacent areas, which are thought to have been previously covered in forest (Nguyen and Harder 1996), are also likely to have disturbed this species. The species' restriction to high altitudes near the mountain peaks will probably present an issue as tropical montane forests are expected to be particularly prone to alteration by climate change (Rowley et al. 2013, Foster 2001).
IUCN Red List Account LinkPlease click here to see the species' IUCN Red List Account page.
Ben Tapley / ZSL