This species is known only from two nearby localities in Jujuy Province, in north-western Argentina: El Moreno (the type locality); and El Angosto. Its altitudinal range is 3,500-3,600m asl. It might occur a little more widely than current records suggest.
Habitat and Ecology
It is wholly aquatic, and is found in high mountain streams usually surrounded by scrubby bush land. It is not known from any modified habitats.
It is a rare species.
Current threats include pollution of the streams by livestock, and collection of vegetation surrounding the streams for firewood (leading to increased run-off sedimentation). Other potential threats include the introduction of predatory fishes (trout), stream pollution from mining activities, destruction of high mountain bogs associated with the streams, and alteration of stream watersheds. Chytridiomycosis is also a potential future threat.
It is not present in any protected areas, and habitat protection is urgently required to ensure the long-term persistence of this species.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered, because its Extent of Occurrence of less than 5,000 km2 and its Area of Occupancy is less than 500 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its stream habitat.
Esteban Lavilla 2004. Telmatobius hypselocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T57343A11624466. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T57343A11624466.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019