This species is thought to be endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India. Specimens referable to the type description have been located in Wayanad (Kerala). There is a need to confirm the identity of populations reported from outside Kerala (e.g., those from Maharashtra; Biju et al. in prep.). It has been recorded at altitudes between 400 and 1,250 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a grassland frog associated with waterlogged or marshy areas, and it has also been recorded from suitable wet patches of forest and lightly degraded former forest.
This is a locally uncommon species.
The main threat to this species is continuing habitat loss caused by the conversion of suitable areas to agricultural use (including plantations). Morphological abnormalities, presumably due to chemical contamination, have been found in some frogs inhabiting agro-ecosystems in the central Western Ghats (Gurushankara et al. 2007).
It is included as part of ongoing field studies by S.D. Biju (pers. comm.), and it is protected by national legislation.
This species was described based on a single "purchased specimen" from "Pegu", Myanmar (Peters 1871). Boulenger (1920) expressed doubts regarding its type locality. The population of Wayanad matches the type description, and presumably the type specimen is from the Western Ghats and not from Myanmar.
Biju, S.D. & Dutta, S. 2009. Zakerana brevipalmata. In: IUCN 2013