This species is known only from four sites: the El Ingenio stream (which is the type locality), and its tributaries the Río Arenal, Loma Redonda and Lio los Cerrillos, in the Campo Arenal area of Catamarca Province, north-western Argentina. It has an altitudinal range of 3,000-3,050m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is an aquatic species, breeding in high mountain streams surrounded by shrubland, but is not present in modified habitats.
This is a rare species that has not been seen since a catastrophic flooding event took place in 1997 when the main river, El Ingenio, rose seven metres above its normal level and washed away everything except for large rocks. While it seems that the species no longer survives in the El Ingenio stream itself, the tributaries of El Ingenio have not been surveyed since the flooding event.
Previous, and possibly remaining, major threats to any surviving populations include pollution from mining activities; introduction of predatory fishes (trout); destruction of high mountain bogs; and alteration of watersheds. Chytridiomycosis is also a potential future threat.
It is not known from any protected areas. Survey work in the tributaries of the El Ingenio is urgently needed to ascertain whether the species is still present; the possibility of re-introducing the species to the El Ingenio stream also should be considered.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered, in view of its extent of occurrence of less than 5,000 km2 and area of occupancy of less than 500 km2, with all individuals in fewer than five locations, and a continuing decline in its area of occupancy, in the extent and quality of its habitat, in the number of sub-populations, and the number of mature individuals.
Esteban Lavilla 2004. Telmatobius scrocchii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T57360A11627349. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T57360A11627349.en .Downloaded on 21 November 2018