This species has been found in two localities on the island of Biak, 120 km off the nortwestern coast of New Guinea, in Papua Province, Indonesia. It has been recorded from a swamp 6 km southwest of the fishing village of Korim (Korem) (0º56’S, 136º00’E) at 100m a.s.l., and at the mouth of a stream surrounded by marsh at the village of Warsa (Biawar) on the northeast coast of the island (0º48'S,135º56'E), close to sea-level. It might occur more widely on the island (especially between the known localities), but is likely to be endemic to Biak (R. Günther, pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
The type locality is densely vegetated with bushes and slender trees. Larger trees were absent as an obvious result of prior logging. Populations were concentrated on a narrow ditch filled with water 10-30cm deep which served as a spawning site. Many specimens were found sitting on leaves of bushes and trees between 1.5 and 3 m above the ground with a few perched on herbaceous plants and grasses 30-80 cm above the ground, or above 3 m on trees. All records are so far from secondary habitats, but its original habitat was probably lowland swamps with scattered shrubs and trees, and perhaps also lowland rainforest. It probably could not survive in completely opened-up habitat (R. Günther, pers. comm.). The breeding is not known, but is believed to take place is still water in swamps.
It is rather rare in its two known localities (R. Günther, pers. comm.).
The island of Biak has suffered from extensive habitat destruction with the majority of its forests destroyed recently. The habitat within its range is at risk from selective logging, clear-felling for timber, shifting agriculture, and small holder farming. However, as a species that survives in secondary habitats, it is not clear that it is immeditately at risk.
Its only known sites are not in protected areas. Surveys are needed to determine the status, distribution and ecological requirements of the species, and to determine whether or not there are any threats. If its range proves to be genuinely small, a protected area should be established.
Rainer Günther 2008. Litoria biakensis. In: IUCN 2014