This species occurs in Chiapas, Mexico, and western Guatemala, in an altitudinal range of 1,000-2,400m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a high-elevation cloud forest species, associated with rocky mountain streams where it breeds.
A recent survey in Chiapas indicated its disappearance, at least from some localities, and there have been no records from Mexico since 1993. A survey of Río Cafetal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala in the Sierra de las Minas, showed a dramatic decline of this species, most likely due to chytridiomycosis (confirmed in a tadpole of another species at the same site). The survey also showed that the species no longer appears to be breeding at this site, although tadpoles have been observed at nearby localities.
Although chytridiomycosis is the suspected cause of decline in Mexico and in Guatemala, deforestation and transformation of the original forested areas due to agriculture, logging and human settlement is also a major threat to the species.
This species occurs in the Reserva de la Biósfera El Triunfo, and also in Biotopo del Quetzal and the Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra de las Minas. Protection of the cloud forested areas in southern Chiapas is needed. In view of the severe risk of chytridiomycosis, ex-situ populations might need to be established. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Luis Canseco-Márquez, Manuel Acevedo 2004. Plectrohyla hartwegi. In: IUCN 2014