This species is restricted to the Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica at 1,870-3,620m asl. Populations in the southern Talamanca probably represent a different species.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in humid lower montane, montane, and sub-alpine zones, occurring in forest as well as disturbed areas such as road sides and garbage dumps. The species appears to be more frequently found at road edges, with this observation not linked to limited sampling effort (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). It breeds by direct development and is not dependent upon water.
It still occurs in many places within its range, but has drastically declined in many sites where it was formerly abundant. Some populations have declined by more than 90% while others appear to be stable. There are, however, reports that the species is now recovering at some localities where it had formerly declined (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). Further details on this recovery are needed.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are ongoing within its range, but probably do not account for the level of decline that has been observed. The declines have been very patchy, and might be linked to subtle, as yet unknown, habitat disturbance (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). Animals can be found in open areas, and it is possible that the declines are linked to specific microhabitat loss - for instance the availability of particular logs, rocks or other ground cover (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). Declines in suitable habitat could also be the result of other threats such as climate change or disease (possibly chytridiomycosis). The well-studied population of Cerro de la Muerte has undergone a enigmatic decline, with no animals recorded during surveys in 2005 (Lips and Donnelly, 2005; Karen Lipps pers. comm., 2007). Declines have also take place on Cerro Cuericí (Karen Lipps pers. comm., 2007).
The range of this species includes several national parks along the Cordillera de Talamanca, such as Parque Nacional Chiripó, Parque Nacional Tapantí and Reserva Biológica Cerro las Vueltas. Further research is needed to better understand the reasons for the declines observed in this species.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because of an serious population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations, inferred from greatly increased difficulty in finding animals in many parts of its range. The generation length is assumed to be five years.
This form was formerly considered to be part of Bolitoglossa subpalmata. Several species might still be involved in what is now considered B. pesrubra.
Bolaños, F., Chaves, G., Wake, D. & Savage, J. 2008. Bolitoglossa pesrubra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T59194A11885568. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T59194A11885568.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019