This species is only known from the type locality, Río Iscozacín (a tributary of the Río Palcazú, in the Pachitea drainage), Pasco Department, Peru, from 380–400 m asl. While it is not believed to be endemic to a specific area, surveys in nearby areas have not recorded this species (J. Icochea pers. comm).
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been collected in lowland tropical rainforest. It appears to be most active around dusk, when males can be heard calling vigorously from the leaf litter (Twomey and Brown 2017). Tadpoles have been found in small pools formed in a nearly-dry creek bed and in small puddles throughout the forest floor (Twomey and Brown 2017).
It is presumed to be very rare, and it is 30 years since it was last recorded. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
It is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural activities taking place within its range. The type locality was converted to agricultural use, and there is also dense cattle ranching.
This species was known to occur in the buffer zone of the Bosque de Protección San Matías-San Carlos. It is listed as Data Deficient (DD) in Peru and has legal protection provided by the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI), which bans all hunting, capture, possession, transport or export of the species for commercial purposes. It is included in Appendix II of CITES, in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with the species' survival.
A species conservation programme is urgently needed.
Further survey work is needed to establish whether or not the species still occurs at the type locality or in any location outside the type locality. More information is also needed on its ecology, use and trade, and threats.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient in view of the absence of recent information on its extent of occurrence, status and ecological requirements.
It is not clear whether this species is distinct from Ameerega petersi, and further taxonomic work is necessary to clarify the specific status (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Ameerega smaragdina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T55238A89202809. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T55238A89202809.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019