This species is restricted to north-eastern Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, from sea level to approximately 550 m asl (Kaiser et al. 1995). It does not occur on Little Tobago Island, as previously reported by Hardy (2004) (Charles et al. 2011). Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 98 km
Habitat and Ecology
It is mostly confined to forest. It is found in forest leaf litter, in forbs, and near forest streams and seepages (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. July 2012). Large females (>40 mm) have been found on sturdy leaves, branches close to the ground, in leaf litter, and at edges of streams and seepages (Kaiser et al. 1993, M. Patrikeev pers. comm. March 2012). Males have been encountered in the same microhabitats, but have also been found calling from grassy meadows and thin branches higher off the ground (Hardy 1982, Kaiser et al. 1995). It is a species that breeds by direct development, and the eggs are deposited in leaf-litter (Hardy 2004).
It is quite common (Kaiser et al. 1995, Murphy 1997; M. Patrikeev pers. comm. July 2012), especially on the northern slopes of the Main Ridge, which has greater annual rainfall compared to the southern slopes (Hardy 1982). Adults and juveniles were very common near Cambleton, Charloteville, and in Gilpin Trace (Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve) as recently as June 2012 (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. July 2012). Its population is not considered to be severely fragmented (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. March 2013).
While there are human activities occurring in its range in the form of illegal tree removal from Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve and associated trail clearing, and also of housing development on private lands at lower elevations, these are considered to be relatively minor (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. March 2012). In addition, substantial areas of suitable forest habitat remain in northeastern Tobago (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. July 2012). Despite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis being present in other amphibian species on the island, in 2006 five individuals of this species sampled in eastern Tobago tested negative for chytrid fungus (Alemu I et al. 2008; A. Hailey pers. comm. January 2012).
It occurs in Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve (3,958 ha) managed by the Tobago House of Assembly (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. July 2012). This water catchment or “rain reserve” (established as early as 1776) encompasses the remaining lower montane rainforest and some tropical moist lowland forest in central and northeastern Tobago (UNESCO 2012). There is some illegal tree removal from the Reserve (M. Patrikeev pers. comm. March 2012), suggesting that there may be a need for additional enforcement in the Reserve.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Pristimantis charlottevillensis. In: IUCN 2014