This species is found in the central Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico, in the states of Puebla and Veracruz. However, it only survives in northern Puebla at Apulco, at 1,400m asl, and Barranca de Xocoyolo, at about 1,300m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits pristine cloud forests (dominated by oak) and breeding takes place in streams by larval development.
This species was believed to be extinct and has only recently been rediscovered (tadpoles and metamorphs) at Apulco and Barranca de Xocoyolo, where it is uncommon. There have been no recent records of the species at any of the previously known localities in Veracruz, and it is believed to be extinct in these sites.
The disappearance and disturbance of the pine-oak forests, as well as the pollution and desiccation of streams, are the major threats to this species. The habitat has been completely destroyed in the localities where this species appears to have been extirpated.
Protection of the original pine-oak forest and measures to avoid the pollution of streams from anthropogenic activities are required to protect this species. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr). A consortium of partners are working on establishing a captive breeding programme and developing an education and awareness campaign for this species (Kapoor 2008). Apulco is a small area informally protected by a local community.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Luis Canseco-Márquez, Luis Carrillo 2010. Incilius cristatus. In: IUCN 2014