This species was formerly only known from the type locality of Celendín and its surroundings, in the vicinity of Cajamarca, Cajamarca Region, Peru. It is now also known from several additional sites in the provinces of Celendín, Cajamarca, Hualgayoc, San Miguel, San Pablo and Santa Cruz (Cajamarca Region), Ferreñafe Province (Lambayeque Region), and Santiago de Chuco (La Libertad Region) in Peru (Golder 2003, Knight Piésold 2010, Aguilar et al. 2012, AMEC 2012, 2014; INSIDEO 2014, Geoservice Ambiental 2014, MWH 2014). It has an elevational range of 3,050–4,060 m asl, its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 11,753 km2, and all individuals are considered to occur in three to 10 threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species, inhabiting páramo grassland. It has been found in the vicinity of several mining concessions (Golder 2003, Knight Piésold 2010, Aguilar et al. 2012, AMEC 2012, 2014; INSIDEO 2014, Geoservice Ambiental 2014, MWH 2014), however its ability to tolerate habitat disturbance is unknown. Breeding takes place by direct development.
It was previously common, although its current population status is not known. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Habitat loss, as a result of mining activities and agricultural expansion (potato farming and livestock ranching), represents the major threat to the species. Many of the known subpopulations have been recorded in the vicinity of mining activities. Based on a time series of satellite images from 2010–2017, some of these mining projects, such as La Zanja (Santa Cruz Province), have expanded and intensified since the time of the original observation.
It has not been reported from any protected areas.
Protection and maintenance of existing habitat is a priority.
Further research is needed into the biology and population status of this species. Studies are needed to obtain information on its susceptibility to threatening processes, particularly mining activities.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Vulnerable, as this species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 11,753 km2, it occurs in three to 10 threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the quality of its puna habitat on the Cordillera Occidental in Peru.
Reflecting some taxonomic uncertainty, Pristimantis simonsii has been included in other genera over the recent past. Currently, there is apparent consensus that the species should be in the genus Pristimantis.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Pristimantis simonsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57227A89212498. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T57227A89212498.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019