Abra Esperanza in Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, Oxapampa, Pasco region, Peru, from 2,600 m asl (Duellman and Hedges 2008, Chávez et al. 2012). It may occur slightly more widely within the park as well as outside of the park in the buffer zone, however it likely has a restricted distribution as with other members of the genus (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits humid montane primary forests. Individuals have been found on the ground after rains and among lichens (Duellman and Hedges 2008). Presumably it breeds by direct development.
This species does not appear to be common, though this could be an artifact of their small size and cryptic lifestyle (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). A total of two individuals were found in the course of two field surveys conducted in 2007 (N=2 individuals) and 2008 (no individuals) (J.C. Chaparro pers. comm. June 2009). In 2011, one individual was found in the vicinity of the type locality at upper San Alberto basin (Chávez et al. 2012).
The species is currently only known from within Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, which is well-protected; however, if the species occurs outside of the park, agriculture expansion into the park's buffer zone may be a threat to this species' habitat (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). The Yanachaga mountain chain is one the remaining large forested areas in this region of Peru, and there is increasing human pressure to convert the land for agricultural activities, for example, "Rocoto" (chili pepper) plantations, and selective logging inside the buffer zone of the park.
All known localities are within Yanachaga Chemillén National Park (J.C. Chaparro pers. comm. June 2009, E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
More research on its population status, distribution, habitat requirements, and threats is needed. Further surveys are necessary to determine whether this species occurs outside of the type locality, especially outside of the park (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). Considering it has a very restricted distribution, researchers should keep this in mind when collecting specimens of this species (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient in view of continuing uncertainties as to its extent of occurrence, population status and ecological requirements.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Phrynopus auriculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T158538A89221928. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T158538A89221928.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019