This species occurs in three sites in Veracruz, Mexico: one at the peak of Cerro Chicahuaxtla, Cuatlapan at 1,600 m asl, another near this site, and at 1,200-1,300 m asl on Volcán San Martín. It is likely that the taxon consists of two separate species, one in each region, with Pseudoeurycea nigromaculata sensu stricto likely to be the subpopulation at Cerro Chicahuaxtla. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4,284 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is arboreal and is found in montane tropical forest (cloud forest) living in bromeliads, an unusual habitat for a salamander in this genus. It reproduces by direct development.
Once relatively common, it is now very rare and only a single specimen was recorded at Cerro Chicahuaxtla in 2007 after not having been seen since the mid-1980s. Between 2010 and 2012, field studies conducted by Eduardo Pineda and his group at INECOL, found 10 specimens in two localities with 650 person hours of sampling effort. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Most of the habitat of this species has disappeared or has been severely degraded as a result of logging, agriculture, and expanding human settlements.
This species has not been recorded in any protected areas. It is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).
Protection of the remaining habitat at the known sites is urgently needed.
Distribution surveys at all sites are required, as is taxonomy research to clarify the identity of all subpopulations.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4,284 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Veracruz, Mexico.
It is likely that this form consists of two separate species (G. Parra-Olea and D. Wake pers. comm.).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Pseudoeurycea nigromaculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59390A53983559. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T59390A53983559.en