This species is only known from one site in the Mamiwa-Kisara North Forest Reserve in the Ukaguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania, where it occurs at around 1,800 m asl. Surveys between 2011-2012 in Mamiwa-Kisara South Forest Reserve and Mikuvi Forest Reserve failed to detect the species (S. Loader pers. comm. December 2014). It is probably endemic to the Ukaguru Mountains. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 18 km²
Habitat and Ecology
All individuals have been found in montane forest in a valley dominated by the tree fern Cyathea manniana. The animals were found on vegetation up to 1.3 m from the ground during rainy evenings along a stream and close to standing water. In terms of microhabitat selection, it was most often found on small trees, shrubs or bushes, with males calling from exposed sites. Presumably it is a live-bearing species, like other members of its genus.
There is little information on its abundance. Ten specimens were collected on its discovery. A survey at this site in 2007 did not find any individuals (CEPF, Frontier Tanzania; M. Menegon pers. comm. June 2012). However, due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, the species' population is presumed to be decreasing.
The forests in the Ukaguru Mountains are poorly protected, and are threatened by agricultural encroachment and human settlement.
It occurs in the Mamiwa-Kisara North Forest Reserve. Additional protection is needed for the forests in the Ukaguru Mountains. Further research is needed on the species' population size, distribution and trends. It is listed on CITES Appendix I.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Nectophrynoides paulae. In: IUCN 2014