This species has one of the smallest ranges of all Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes, approximately 275 km², extending between Samarai Island (10o36.50'S, 150o39.64'E) and the southeastern corner of Basilaki Island (10o39.68S, 151o04.50'E) in Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea.
The estimated area of occupancy within this habitat is 15 km².
The total population is estimated at less than 1,500 individuals. The species is threatened by changes in the pattern of cool-water upwelling that characterizes its habitat.
There have been observed declines in the number of adult individuals over the past 25 years, unfortunately Chaetodontoplus vanderloosi does not occur within marine protected areas. In view of this species' limited distribution, small population and decline in numbers, it is listed:
Status concerning IUVN Red List: ENDANGERED!
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopteri (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Percoidei (Suborder) > Pomacanthidae (Family) > Chaetodontoplus (Genus) > Chaetodontoplus vanderloosi (Species)