This species is known from nine geographic localities in the Regions of Ancash, Huánuco and Lima, in the Central Peruvian Andes (Aguilar et al. 2007, Sinsch and Lehr 2010). Its elevational range is 3,680–4,818 m asl (Sinsch and Lehr 2010). The line-of-sight distance between the northernmost and the southernmost locality is ca 290 km. Although it has not yet been recorded from the Regions of Pasco and Junín, its southernmost known locality of Ticlio (Aguilar and Lundberg 2005) suggests that it could also occur in these intervening regions. This is reflected in the species' EOO of 16,946 km2. Additional subpopulations are expected to be found elsewhere in remote areas of the Andes (Sinsch and Lehr 2010).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is a riparian, semi-aquatic frog of the puna. It inhabits rivers with slow currents and many rocks, under which adults and tadpoles can be found (Lehr 2005, Sinsch and Lehr 2010), as well as small streams and associated still water basins with gravel and rocks (Salas 1990 in Sinsch and Lehr 2010). Breeding takes place in streams and rivers. It is suspected to breed throughout the year given that amplexing pairs and tadpoles at different developmental stages were found at different times of the year (Sinsch and Lehr 2010).
It has previously been reported as abundant, though the population is suspected to be decreasing due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, and harvesting for human consumption.
Surveys in 1990 in Chocopitec, Ancash found an average of one individual per 4 m stream length (Salas 1990). At Yurayacu, Ancash surveys were conducted in 1986–1991, 1995, and 2001; the species was abundant at this site (up to 250 individuals per survey) until 2001 when no records were made during three days of surveying (A. Salas pers. comm. 2010). Surveys during 1998–1999 in Huánuco and in 2005 in Lima suggest that this species' population could be considered as being overall stable at that time (C. Aguilar pers. comm. January 2011), but no records are known from this species since 2005 because no surveys have been conducted to locate it (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
All known subpopulations occur in different hydrographic systems, which could qualify them as being fragmented, as this can be applied to most riparian species with limited potential for terrestrial dispersal (Sinch and Lehr 2010). However, aquatic dispersal throughout a hydrographic system is still considered possible (Sinch and Lehr 2010), so for the purposes of this assessment the species' distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented.
The two rivers in proximity of the village of Quío did not show any evident anthropogenic impacts in 1998 (Sinsch and Lehr 2010). Water pollution from mines and domestic use of water might pose a localized threat. In addition, it is suspected that this species could be collected for food and medicine and could be susceptible to chytrid infection based on information from other congeners, however there are no reports of chytrid infection in this species.
It is not known to be present in any protected area, but it might range into the lower elevations of Huascarán National Park.
Habitat protection is urgently needed to ensure the maintenance of suitable habitat for this species.
Further research is needed to determine its distribution and to assess suspected threats, with specific focus on obtaining positive identification of the species in local markets and on determining the rate of harvest. Taxonomic work is needed to determine if this form is a complex of more than one species.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of approximately 16,946 km2, it occurs in nine threat-defined locations, there is continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat caused primarily by water pollution, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals due to offtake from the wild.
There are questions around the taxonomy of this concept and it could comprise several cryptic species (E. Lehr and A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Telmatobius carrillae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57329A3057820. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T57329A3057820.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019