This species is restricted to the high plateau (Sierra Grande) of Córdoba and San Luis Provinces, Argentina, at 1,600-2,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in rocky outcrops in montane grasslands and reproduces in mountain streams during the final snowfalls of late August. Free-living larvae develop in these streams, and can occur below ice.
Adults and juveniles are often found in close proximity of the breeding site stream. Juveniles and adults select granite outcrops after the breeding season and avoid the heavily grazed areas. Adults also select the stream and use tall tussock grassland in proportion to its availability. Juveniles use loose, flat, relatively small stones as shelters, while adults use larger rocks (Jofré et al., 2007). Some habitat disturbance is tolerated.
It is common within its limited range. The population was apparently stable through 2002.
The threats to this species are habitat loss due to extensive cattle ranching and the pollution of water sources by cattle. Some populations might also be declining due to fires. In addition, cattle affect larval survivorship directly by trampling, and indirectly through sediment deposition at the breeding sites, resulting from increased stream bank erosion. Future conservation management plans for the species should include the protection of the breeding sites and the surrounding terrestrial area (Jofré et al., 2007).
It occurs in Parque Nacional Condorito and the Reserva Hídrica Provincial de Pampa de Achala.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Esteban Lavilla, Ismael di Tada, Chris J. Reading 2010. Rhinella achalensis. In: IUCN 2014