This species is known only from the type locality: Murmuntani, Parinacota Province, in extreme northern Chile at 3,200 m asl, on the western slopes of the Andes. It has an area of occupancy of 100 km
Habitat and Ecology
The type locality is a small high-altitude stream, close to human villages. It is wholly aquatic, requiring small permanent streams to persist, and its tolerance to habitat destruction is unknown. Reproduction occurs in the water and it has large, free-swimming tadpoles.
The species was described in 1976, but nobody has ever been able to identify another individual after the original description.
The main threat to the species is water extraction from streams, because local people extract water for cattle ranching and human use; it might also be affected by the impact of cattle on the streams. The species is only known from its holotype; it has not been collected ever since in spite of several attempts to find it. The description of the holotype mentioned that the species also occurs in Zapahuira, but this area has dried out and the frog has not been found there.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Telmatobius pefauri. In: IUCN 2014