This species is only known from two threat-defined locations: the Chirinda Forest in eastern Zimbabwe (where it occurs at approximately 900-1,300 m asl) and the Dombe Forest in adjacent Mozambique (where it occurs around 150 m asl). Based on these two threat-defined locations, its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,354 km².
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in the leaf-litter of lowland and montane evergreen forest, often hiding inside or beneath rotten logs. The eggs are laid in pockets of water between the buttress roots of Chrysophyllum gorungosanum trees, or in water-filled grooves on the trunks of fallen trees. It is not found outside forest.
It was considered common when it was last seen in the mid-1980s. However, it has not been seen since and was not seen during a brief, unofficial visit to the area in 2010, which may have been due to the nature and timing of the visit (J. Harvey pers. comm. June 2012). Despite the paucity of data, due to ongoing habitat loss in the region, its population is suspected to be decreasing.
Its habitat is threatened by agriculture encroaching on the forest, wood extraction for firewood, and expanding human settlements (J. Harvey pers. comm. June 2012).
It occurs in the Ngungunyana State Forest in Zimbabwe, an area of the Chirinda Forest, which is administered by the Forestry Commission and is one of the best researched forests in Zimbabwe. However, the area remains in need of strengthened protection. More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history, and threats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Mertensophryne anotis. In: IUCN 2014