This species is known only from a few streams in the vicinity of the type locality of Allipaca, Puquio District, Ayacucho Region, along the southwestern slope of the Peruvian Andes (Vellard 1951, Vargas 2015, V.J. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). Additionally, molecular analyses show that specimens recorded from Reserva Nacional Pampas Galeras belong to this species (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. December 2017). It occurs at elevations from 2,860–3,300 m asl (V.J. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). Its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 238 km2 and all individuals occur in two threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This riparian, semi-aquatic frog can be found under rocks in streams and waterfalls in montane shrubland and grasslands. Breeding take places by larval development in streams.
Until it was rediscovered in December 2014 near the town of Puquio, Ayacucho, this species had not been observed since it was first described by Vellard in 1951. During a field survey along 100 m transect in a creek near Puquio, a small subpopulation of of this species was found, including three adult frogs and many tadpoles in different stages of development (Vargas 2015). In August 2015, adults, tadpoles, and eggs were recorded during surveys at the type locality (V. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). During May 2017, several adults and juveniles, as well as, tadpoles and eggs identified as this species were recorded in several pools in Reserva Nacional Pampas Galeras (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. December 2017). In November 2017, a new subpopulation was registered in a new stream in Allipaca, where six adults and several tadpoles were found (V.J. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). The population is suspected to be decreasing due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat caused by domestic and livestock-driven pollution, and there is ongoing decline of mature individuals due to chytridiomycosis and illegal off take from the wild.
The creeks near Puquio, where this species was found in 2014, is severely contaminated and has a slow current; nevertheless, this frog appears to be able to persist in an environment polluted by plastic and livestock excrements (Vargas 2015). These frogs are also threatened by harvesting for consumption (Vargas 2015). Additionally, chytrid was detected in specimens in 2014 and 2015 (V.J. Vargas pers. comm. March 2018). Chytrid is also present in Pampas Galeras and has been detected in specimens of this species (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. December 2017).
It has been recorded in Reserva Nacional Pampas Galeras (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. December 2017). It is listed as Data Deficient (DD) in Peru according to the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI).
Improved habitat protection is required at sites where this species is known to occur. There is a need to regulate its harvesting and to reduce the local water pollution. Education programmes are needed to inform local people of the importance of ensuring that the harvest of this species from the wild is managed sustainably.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and threats. Further taxonomic work is needed to confirm whether the specimens from Pampas Galeras belong to this species or a different, undescribed species.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Endangered because of its estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 238 km2, all individuals are considered to occur in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat at its type locality due to domestic and livestock-driven pollution, as well as, a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals due to the effects of chytrid and unregulated harvesting from the wild.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Telmatobius intermedius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57345A3058721. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T57345A3058721.en .Downloaded on 18 January 2019