This species is known only from the eastern foothills of the Cordillera Azul, Ucayali Region, Peru, from 300–550 m asl. The range of this species appears to be highly restricted, as surveys within accessible areas surrounding its known distribution have not recorded any individuals (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). The species may inhabit other areas nearby, but this is difficult to verify as the areas are inaccessible (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). It occurs in two threat-defined locations and its EOO is 753 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits tropical moist lowland rainforest. Individuals have been observed in dense primary and secondary forest associated with the foothills of mountains (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). It is active during the day among the leaf litter. It is not known if it can occur in degraded habitat, although it is possible that it occurs at forest edges. Eggs are deposited on the forest floor and the larvae are then transported to puddles and streams by the males.
This species is locally abundant at known sites. In December 2016 nearby Aguaytia, over the period of six hours, six individuals were caught and ca 50 individuals calling were recorded over a transect of 1 km (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). General surveys for dendrobatid frogs in August 2007 (24 person-hours) and December 2016 (16 person-hours), about 15-20 km east of its known distribution, failed to record this species (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Within its current known range, this species is threatened by habitat loss due to smallholder subsistence farming (including cattle), smallholder ornamental plant farming, and logging for timber and subsistence use. This species is also found in the international pet trade, but smuggling pressure is not considered to be high (Twomey and Brown 2017).
The species occurs within the boundaries of Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul (Tasker and Twomey 2015). It is listed as Data Deficient (DD) 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. It is included in Appendix II of CITES, in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with the species' survival.
This species would likely benefit from improved habitat protection at sites where it is known to occur.
The taxonomy of this species requires further work, as many specimens are misidentified in museum collections (K-H. Jungfer pers. comm.). More information is also needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats. Further studies are needed into the possible impact of the pet trade on this species.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 753 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat along the eastern foothills of the Cordillera Azul.
The status of Ameerega rubriventris as a valid species is still in dispute by some, though the unusual ventral colors and genetic distinctness suggest that this species is indeed different from A. altamazonica (Twomey and Brown 2017).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Ameerega rubriventris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T55234A89202378. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T55234A89202378.en