This species is known from two areas on the Cordillera Oriental west of the Río Apurimac, Region of Ayacucho, Peru. Until recently this species was only known from the type locality, Abra Tapuna, 7 km north of Mahuayura, near Tambo (Cannatella 1984). It is now also known from the vicinity of Chiquintirca, near Anco, Ayacucho Region (Vargas 2015), although specimens from this subpopulation may have been confused with Oreobates lehri (V. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). It occurs at elevations between 2,970–3,750 m asl, the estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of its known range is 256 km2, and it occurs at two threat-defined locations. The species probably has a much broader range (J.M. Padial pers. comm. March 2018).
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits montane grasslands and cloud forest. Specimens can be found under rocks and logs and within bushes. It is not known whether or not it could occur in degraded areas, although the fact that the area around the type locality is under human influence suggests that it tolerates some degree of habitat modification (J.M. Padial pers. comm. March 2018). Cannatella (1984) also reported some tolerance to habitat changes. It is a terrestrial species that breeds by direct development.
Surveys along the PERU LNG gas pipeline in 2012 lead to the discovery to the second known subpopulation of this species (Vargas 2015). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The area of the type locality (7 km N of Mahuayara), on the main road to the Apurimac valley via Tambo, may be vulnerable to seasonal fires (J.M. Padial pers. comm. March 2018). At the other known locality, the Peru LNG pipeline and the Camisea natural gas pipeline pass through the species' habitat and there have been gas spills at different points along the pipelines which could further threaten the species (V. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). Seasonal fires may also affect the area (J.M. Padial pers. comm. March 2018). Furthermore, the forested slopes of the Apurimac valley where this species occurs are threatened by intensive agricultural modification for coca, coffee plantations, and cattle (J.M. Padial pers. comm. March 2018), as well as, the construction of roads (V. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018).
It is not known to occur in any protected areas. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) in Peru and has legal protection provided by 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. Attempts to breed this species in captivity have proved unsuccessful.
Immediate protection and maintenance of the remaining habitat is necessary.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history, and threats.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Endangered because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of 256 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Apurimac River valley in Peru.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Hypodactylus lucida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57217A89211791. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T57217A89211791.en .Downloaded on 18 February 2019