This species is known from the slopes of the northern highlands in Guatemala from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes to the highlands of Alta Verapaz and the Sierra de las Minas, from 615-1,850m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This stream-breeding species inhabits cloud forest, and individuals have been found among rocks alongside streams. It is not found in degraded habitats, but does occur in old secondary forest.
It is a common species, but there is evidence of a recent dramatic decline and possible extirpation in Río Cafetal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, in the Sierra de las Minas, possibly due to chytridiomycosis (a tadpole of another species at this site was confirmed to have the disease). However, P. quecchi is reportedly still breeding at nearby sites.
The main threat is habitat loss, especially due to encroaching agriculture (in particular leather-leaf plantations). There is also the risk of contamination or change in flow-regime of streams. As noted, chytridiomycosis is also a threat, given the impact that this has had on some other members of this genus in Central America, and due to the apparent disappearance of this species at a site where chytridiomycosis in another species has been confirmed.
This species occurs in the Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra de las Minas, Biotopo del Quetzal, and the Reserva de la Biósfera Bisis Caba. In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, the population status of this species requires close monitoring, and animals might need to be maintained in captivity. The taxonomic status of this species, relative to Plectrohyla sagorum, requires investigation.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over a ten year period including the past, due to continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and the potential impact of chytridiomycosis.
This species could be conspecific with Plectrohyla sagorum (M. Acevedo pers. comm.).
Manuel Acevedo, Eric Smith, Joseph Mendelson III 2006. Plectrohyla quecchi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T55884A11371178. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2006.RLTS.T55884A11371178.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019