This species was previously known only from one locality (two sites in close proximity to each other) at 800 m asl on the south slope of the north-west-south-east range of the mountains immediately to the north of Tarapoto Province, San Martin Department, in northern Peru. Following genetic, morphological and bioacoustic analysis, Cochranella croceopodes and Rulyrana tangarana have been synonymised with it (Twomey et al. 2014). It is now known from the Cordillera Escalera, roughly between the cities of Tarapoto and Moyobamba, in the Department of San Martín, northern Peru, between 517–1,047 m asl (Twomey et al. 2014). It probably occurs more widely, but it is still likely to have a restricted distribution. It occurs in two threat-defined locations and its EOO is 1,588 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This nocturnal glass frog occurs in habitats ranging from small creeks to torrential streams to spray zones of waterfalls in submontane and lowland forests. This species has never been registered from heavily disturbed habitat, but does occur in secondary forest (Twomey et al. 2014). The species has been found at night perched on low streamside vegetation (calling males have been heard as high as ~4 m) and on boulders and rock faces along streams (Duellman and Schulte 1993, Twomey et al. 2014). Neither eggs nor tadpoles have been found from this species, but reproduction is suspected to take place in streams.
It is a common species at the type locality, and was originally described from a series of 30 adult males (Duellman and Schulte 1993). In 2004, over 50 individuals were found over the course of 20 person/day surveys (von May et al. 2008), suggesting that this species is not uncommon. In 2010 and 2011, a series of 14 specimens were collected from from four sites: three males and three females from the type locality of Ahuashiyacu, four males from 2.3 km E of Ahuashiyacu, three males from Abra Tangarana, and one male from 6 km SE from Abra Tangarana (Twomey et al. 2014). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The main threat to this species is habitat loss due to agriculture, livestock farming, wood extraction, and human settlement. There is also a waterfall at the type locality of this species which is regularly visited by regional tourists, which could potentially negatively impact the species (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). The available habitat is very fragmented.
Conservation ActionsThis species occurs in the Area de Conservacion Regional Cordillera Escalera. It is listed as Endangered (EN) in Peru and has legal protection provided by the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI), which bans all hunting, capture, possession, transport or export of the species for commercial purposes.
Continued habitat protection is required.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history, and threats. The potential impacts of localized climate change and possible infection with the chytrid fungus require further investigation.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,588 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat.
Rulyrana saxiscandens, Cochranella croceopodes and Rulyrana tangarana are considered to be synonymous based on available morphological, bioacoustic, and phylogenetic evidence (Twomey et al. 2014). Under the Principle of the First Reviser of the ICZN (article 24.2.2) precedence is given to saxiscandens, rendering R. tangarana and C. croceopodes junior synonyms of R. saxiscandens.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Rulyrana saxiscandens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T78504623A78504492. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T78504623A78504492.en .Downloaded on 17 December 2018