This species is known from forested slopes of the Río Zaña watershed, on the Pacific versant of the Cordillera Central in the Cajamarca Region, northern Peru. It was also recorded in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Cutervo in Cajamarca between 1986 and 2002 (A. Miranda Leiva pers. comm. March 2018). It occurs at elevations of 1,500–1,800 m asl, its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 309 km2, and all individuals are considered to occur in two threat-defined locations. Its range is incompletely known, and it presumably occurs much more widely, but nevertheless probably has a somewhat restricted distribution.
Habitat and Ecology
This frog is associated with streams in montane forest. At night, individuals perch on the upper surfaces of leaves over streams and during the day they rest on upper leaf surfaces over streams, where breeding occurs (Cadle and McDiarmid 1990). Breeding for this species apparently begins with the onset of rains (January). Males call from the upper surfaces of leaves 0.5–3 m above streams. Eggs are deposited on leaves above permanent and temporary streams, and larvae develop in the streams. Breeding activity (based on the number of observed egg masses in some stream sections) is believed to be high, compared to other species of the genus (Cadle and McDiarmid 1990). It is not known if the species can adapt to modified habitats.
It was once believed to be a common species; the type series is represented by 68 specimens (Cadle and McDiarmid 1990). During 1989 surveys in two frequently-worked sections of a stream, male densities sometimes exceeded 30 individuals per ca 10 m. Between the years of 1986 to 2002, this glass frog was frequently recorded in the buffer areas of Parque Nacional Cutervo (A. Miranda Leiva pers. comm. March 2018). Surveys in Cajamarca during 2006–2007, however, detected only a single individual over 74 person-days, suggesting the population experienced declines (von May et al. 2008). Extensive searches in El Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosques Nublados de Udima during 2010 and 2011 did not record any individuals (A. Miranda Leiva pers. comm. March 2018). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
It is probably affected by habitat loss as a result of livestock farming and selective wood extraction. It might also be vulnerable to the effects of localized climate change and infection with the chytrid fungus.
Its mapped range overlaps with El Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosques Nublados de Udima, but its presence in this protected area needs to be confirmed. It was recorded in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Cutervo in Cajamarca, but has not been recorded from within the park. It is listed as Endangered (EN) in Peru according to 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.
There is a need for improved habitat protection of sites at which this species is known to occur.
Further research is needed to help better understand the distribution, population status, natural history, and threats to this species. Close monitoring of the population is recommended given the potential risk of chytridiomycosis.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because of its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 309 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the Pacific versant of the Cordillera Central in Peru.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Centrolene hesperium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54917A89198000. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T54917A89198000.en .Downloaded on 20 February 2019