This species has been reported from widely scattered localities across Peninsular Malaysia, the island of Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam, Kalimantan), southern Thailand and Indonesia (Sumatra and Java). It probably occurs more widely than current records suggest, especially in areas between known sites. It has been recorded up to at least 1,200 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
The adults of this species live in the leaf-litter of lowland and submontane forests below 1,200 m asl. It is usually seen in seepage areas and along the banks of slow moving, small, very shallow streams. It breeds in streams.
There are no subpopulation estimates for this species and it has not been found in any significant numbers at any site in Borneo. It can be locally extremely common in Peninsular Malaysia, locally common in Sumatra, and uncommon in Java and Thailand.
Destruction of the environment as a result of deforestation is the principal threat to this species. Forest clearing for traditional shifting agriculture probably has little impact on the population because it leaves surrounding subpopulation sources to re-invade secondary forests that developed on abandoned agriculture sites. However, the pace and scale of contemporary deforestation for large plantations limits the opportunities for re-establishing subpopulations. However, one of the densest subpopulations is at a reforestation site on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, attesting to the species' resilience, at least in certain situations.
It presumably occurs in several protected areas, including Kerinci-Seblat National Park. Additional effective protection of lowland forests in Borneo, Sumatra and Java is needed. In mainland Southeast Asia no conservation measures are considered necessary beyond maintaining the protected areas that are already established. It is protected by the WARPA 1992 law of Thailand and is listed as Vulnerable in the Thai 1996 Red List (OEPP 1997).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Leptophryne borbonica. In: IUCN 2014