This species is known only from the West Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania, where it has been recorded in the Shume-Magamba Forest Reserve, the Mazumbai Forest Reserve, and the Ambangulu Tea Estate between 1,230 and 2,000 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,004 km²
Habitat and Ecology
All records are from montane forest, including in the ecotone between forest and ericaceous vegetation. It is a terrestrial species and its breeding strategy is unknown, but it is assumed to be ovoviviparous like other members of its genus, with internal fertilization giving birth to tiny toadlets.
This species can be relatively common at specific sites within its range. However, its population is severely fragmented as more than 50% occurs in fragments on different sides of the mountain between which there is little to no dispersal and, due to ongoing habitat loss, its population is presumed to be decreasing.
There is a long history of habitat modification in the West Usambaras, initiated by the planting of tea and coffee plantations. Agricultural activities continue to the present day in addition to wood extraction and expanding human settlements.
It occurs in the Mazumbai, Baga II, Shume-Magamba Forest Reserves in the West Usambara Mountains. All of these forest reserves require further protection and additional habitat protection outside these areas is also needed. The effects of habitat disturbance on this species need to be investigated, as well as its natural history. This species is listed under CITES Appendix 1.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Nectophrynoides vestergaardi. In: IUCN 2014