This species is known only from mountains in Sabah and north-eastern Sarawak, in northern Borneo, Malaysia. It might also occur in the mountains of northern Kalimantan, Indonesia, but has not yet been recorded from there. It probably occurs more widely than current records suggest. It is present in forests above 1,500m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
All known observations were made in montane 'elfin' type forests. Adults are largely terrestrial and are found in leaf-litter, rock crevices, and holes in the ground. Breeding takes place in small, temporary pools on the forest floor, and tadpoles are endotrophic.
It is difficult to observe, but is considered locally abundant in montane forests (Malkmus et al. 2002).
Habitat loss is probably the most serious threat, due mainly to logging. Logging is occurring at Gunung Murud, but is below the altitudinal range of this species. The development of recreation and tourism facilities is a potential threat.
The range of the species includes Kinabalu National Park. Other suitable montane forests, particularly those of Trus Madi, require more effective protection.
Robert Inger, Indraneil Das, Robert Stuebing, Maklarin Lakim, Paul Yambun 2004. Pelophryne misera. In: IUCN 2014