This species is known only from the mountains of western Cameroon, where it occurs on Mount Manenguba and in the Bamenda Highlands in the Bamboutos Mountains and Mount Oku. It also occurs at Santa on Mount Neshele. Its altitudinal range is from 1,750-2,600m asl, but it rarely occurs below 2,100-2,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is found on flat rocks in fast-flowing streams at high elevations, typically in montane forest patches. It breeds in streams, and it seems that after reproduction the adults disperse into forest patches, open bamboo glades, and montane grassland. The larvae live in fast, even torrential, water. During the dry season the adults may live in water, hiding under stones. It seems to occur at higher altitudes than other members of its genus, living at a higher altitude than both Werneria tandyi and W. mertensiana on Mount Manenguba.
It is not a common species. In 1985, it was reported as possibly nearing extinction in the Bamboutos Mountains.
It is probably threatened by forest clearance and degradation resulting from overgrazing, fires, and cultivation.
The species might occur in the Bafut-Ngemba Forest Reserve, but is largely unprotected elsewhere in its range; additional protection of the remaining highland forests in Cameroon, particularly Mount Manenguba, is needed. A conservation project has been conducted on Mount Oku for several years by BirdLife International, involving community management of the area involving the local villages. This project needs to take into account the conservation needs of this species.
Jean-Louis Amiet 2004. Werneria bambutensis. In: IUCN 2014