This species is restricted to the Río Santa and its tributary streams (Conococha, Catac, Laguna Aguashcocha, Pachacoto) in the Ancash Department, Peru (Lehr 2002, Lehr et al. 2002). It has an altitudinal range of 3,515–4,150 m asl and its EOO is approximately 499 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a fully aquatic frog restricted to rivers and streams of the puna region. Individuals have been found under rocks and submerged plants in slow-moving sections of rivers. It has not been recorded from degraded habitats. As with other congeners, it is presumed to breed by larval development in water. It appears that reproduction of this species is not seasonal because tadpoles of the same stage were collected during the dry season (August) and at the end of the rainy season (March). Tadpoles have been found in slow currents of rivers and streams between stones and vegetation (Aguilar and Lehr 2009).
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 1998–1999 by E. Lehr and C. Aguilar found ca 10 individuals after a half hour search, suggesting that this species was common (Lehr 2002, Lehr et al. 2002, and C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). August 2008 surveys at the type locality were futile after a six person/hour search (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). Additional surveys (2009 or 2010), revealed a handful of Telmatobius larvae (although of uncertain identity) from nearby Conococha Lake; these tadpoles lacked keratinized mouthparts (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). The last time the species was collected was in 2013 by Pablo Venegas at Ushpajanca, Ancash at 4,228 m asl (G. Chavez pers. comm. April 2017).
There was significant livestock (sheep and cow) waste in the river in 2008, and to a lesser degree domestic waste, some of it generated by local restaurants (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). There is a significant amount of mining activity near the Conococha Lake area, but most mines are operating downstream of the Lake (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). Agrochemical use has also been reported as a threat. Uncontrolled exploitation as a food and medicine source continue to threaten this species. Similar to its congeners, this species is likely to be very susceptible to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and several specimens preserved in museums are known to be infected with chytrid (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017).
It is present in Huascarán National Park. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) 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.
There is a need to regulate harvesting and offtake of this species, as well as to protect and clear waterways of both livestock and domestic waste.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and threats. Screening for presence of chytrid fungus is needed in view of the detection of chytrid in the area, and population monitoring is also required. Further studies should also monitor trends in harvest levels.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 499 km2, it is known from less than five locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, as well as in the number of mature individuals in the Peruvian Andes.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Telmatobius mayoloi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57350A3059558. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T57350A3059558.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019