This species is known from two localities in the upper Kosñipata Valley in southern Peru (Cusco Region): Quebraba Toqoryuoc, within the Wayqecha Biological Station (type locality) and ca 3 km northwest of the type locality, on the eastern ridge of Cerro Macho Cruz, within Manu National Park (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009). It occurs at elevations of 2,380–3,485 m asl (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009) and the EOO of its known range is 38 km2. This species is presumed to occur more widely, but areas surrounding the type locality are very difficult to access (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. August 2011).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits high-Andean puna grasslands, the montane scrub and cloud forest habitats near the transition with the puna (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009). Individuals were collected from cloud forest leaf litter in forest with large cover of Chusquea bamboo and abundant ground moss cover, and from shrubs and herbaceous vegetation in montane scrub along the edge of the ridge of Cerro Macho Cruz, which separates the drainage basins of the Toqohuayqo and Pillahuata streams (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009). The gravid female found at the type locality contained four unpigmented ovarian eggs (two in each ovary) (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009). Like other congeners, it is presumed to breed by direct development. Because this species occurs in such a wide variety of habitats, it is likely to be moderately tolerant to disturbance (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. August 2011).
Although they can locally be abundant, these frogs are often overlooked in amphibian inventories due to their patchy distribution, small size and predominantly terrestrial life style (Catenazzi et al. 2015). Where subpopulations occur, relative abundances estimated by leaf litter quadrat sampling vary between 30 and 75 frogs/ha, therefore this species is considered to be relatively rare (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009). There is no indication of population declines from 1996 until the time of this assessment (Catenazzi et al. 2011), and therefore the population is considered to be stable.
Collected specimens were tested for chytridiomycosis, but no infection was detected in this species in 2007 (Lehr and Catenazzi 2009), 2008 or 2009 (Catenazzi et al. 2011). Threats to this species are human-induced fires to turn grasslands into cattle pastures or potato fields near Manu National Park, which occasionally cross over the park's boundaries and burn the puna and montane scrub within the park (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. August 2011).
This species occurs within Manu National Park and the Wayqecha Biological Station (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. August 2011).
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, and life history.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern since, although its current extent of occurrence (EOO) is 38 km2, it likely has a wide distribution throughout neighbouring valleys, it has a stable population, a tolerance of a broad range of habitats, and occurrence in protected areas.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Noblella pygmaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T190996A89223966. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T190996A89223966.en .Downloaded on 22 January 2019