Psychrophrynella pinguis is known only from the type locality of "Choquetanga Chico" (16 48' S, 67 21' W), in Inquisivi Province, department of La Paz, Bolivia, at 3450 masl (Harvey and Ergueta 1998; De la Riva, 2007). Although it is likely to have a small range, its distribution is still very incompletely known.
Habitat and Ecology
Individuals of this species have been found under stones in a humid stream bed; the area consists a mixture of low elfin forest and pastures, with abundant mosses and lichens. Other anurans found at the type locality were Pristimantis platydactylus, Telmatobius espadai, and Gastrotheca marsupiata (Harvey and Ergueta, 1998; De la Riva, 2007).
The species presumably breeds by direct development.
It is known only from the original specimens, and there has been no recent surveying of the type locality.
It is probably threatened to some extent by smallholder agriculture.
In addition, a restricted geographic distribution and the predicted effects of climate change (e.g. drying up of regions) are considered to pose serious threats to the species (I. De la Riva, pers. comm. 2008).
It has not been recorded from any protected areas.
Ignacio De la Riva 2008. Psychrophrynella pinguis. In: IUCN 2014