This species occurs in the Soconusco area, in Chiapas, Mexico, eastward to the Volcán Chicabal in Guatemala, at an altitude of 2,400-2,900m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits pine-oak and upper cloud forest, where it is strictly terrestrial and can tolerate only very limited habitat disturbance. It breeds by direct development and is not dependent upon water.
It was formerly a common species, but has undergone declines in recent years. Recent surveys (2005 and 2006) at Volcán Chicabal and at San Marcos revealed a single specimen from Volcán Chicabal, and no specimens from San Marcos (Sean Rovito and Carlos Vásquez pers. comm. 2007), despite it being once one of the most abundant species at those same localities in Guatemala (collected many times in consistently large numbers). The declines in population do not seem to be linked to habitat modification.
The decline in the population of this species is enigmatic, with further research needed to determine the cause. The species is additionally threatened by the alteration and clear-cutting of its habitat, due to urbanization, human settlement (refugees), and agricultural expansion (including livestock farming).
It has been previously recorded from the Volcán Chicabal Reserve in Guatemala, but was not found on a recent visit (Carlos Vásquez and Sean Rovito pers. comm. 2007). Habitat protection is an urgent priority. The species is in need of close population monitoring, and research is urgently needed into the population decline. This species is listed as "Threatened" (Amenazada) by the Mexican government.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Acevedo, M., Wake, D., Rovito, S. & Vasquez, C. 2008. Pseudoeurycea goebeli. In: IUCN 2014