This species is known from two localities in the Montañas de Cuilco, western Guatemala: Montañas de Peña Blanca, 17.1 km W (by road) from the Colotenango-Cuilco road, past San Francisco El Retiro, at 3,000 m asl, and La Cumbre, 14.1 km (by road) from CA-1 on the El Paraíso-Oja Blanca road, at 2,100 m asl (S. Rovito pers. comm. March 2011). These localities are separated by 10 km, and on the basis of forested areas surrounding the known localities, this species' range is estimated to be at least 90 km
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in bromeliads or under bark on logs and stumps in forest at the subtropical-temperate forest transition zone. It breeds by direct development and is not dependent upon water.
It is considered to be a locally common species, and has been found in large numbers in the past (S. Rovito pers. comm. March 2011). It was last seen January 2009 (S. Rovito pers. comm. March 2011). The population is considered to be severely fragmented given that it is known from only two sites which are considered to be heavily impacted by human activities and that the species' biology may not be conducive to dispersal between suitable habitat patches.
Forest clearance continues at the type locality, mainly as a result of wood extraction and expanding small-holder farming (i.e. coffee farms; C. Vásquez-Almazán pers. comm. March 2011). Habitat degradation is considered to affect a majority of the species' known range, as the two localities where the species is known from are heavily impacted by human activity (S. Rovito pers. comm. March 2011).
The Montañas de Cuilco are not protected, and habitat protection is an urgent priority for this salamander's conservation. Adoption of organic coffee practices is also encouraged so as to put less pressure on the remaining forest (C. Vásquez-Almazán pers. comm. March 2011). More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status and natural history.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Both Dendrotriton chujorum and Dendrotriton kekchiorum were included within Dendrotriton rabbi in the past; however, this species is now considered to be restricted to Montañas de Cuilco (Campbell et al. 2010).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Dendrotriton rabbi. In: IUCN 2014