Psychrophrynella chacaltaya is known from the type locality, Sanja Pampa (16 15' 13.8" S, 68 01' 41.8" W, 3900 masl), Province of Nor Yungas, Department of La Paz, and the nearby locality of Zongo Valley (16 11' 47"S, 68 07' 35" W, 3600 masl), 1.7 km above Central Botijlaca, Province of Murillo, Department of La Paz, Bolivia (De la Riva, 2007).
Habitat and Ecology
Individuals of this species can be found under stones or amid grasses and mosses in paramo, usually occupying different
microhabitats with a variable degree of humidity, commonly around small lakes which are sometimes associated with Polylepis formations. Males can be heard to call by day and night, with or without rain (De la Riva, 2007).
The species presumably has direct development.
The species seems to be scarce in the Zongo Valley, as compared to Cotapata (De la Riva, 2007).
The species could be affected by the removal of Polylepis formations and agriculture in Zongo Valley. In addition, its restricted distribution and the predicted effects of climate change (e.g. drying up of regions) are also considered to pose serious threats to the species (I. De la Riva, pers. comm. 2008).
The species occurs within the Cotapata National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management (PN-ANMI Cotapata).
Red List Status
Psychrophrynella chacaltaya is distinguished from other similar species by a combination of colour patterns and morphological features (De la Riva, 2007).
Ignacio De la Riva 2008. Psychrophrynella chacaltaya. In: IUCN 2014