This species' range is in the vicinity of Blue Mountain Peak, Jamaica, at 1,550-2,250 m asl. The two sites from which it is known are separated by less than 20 km in a straight line, but it is suspected that it may have a more widespread distribution, possibly in areas that are more inaccessible (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011, December 2012). However, it is considered unlikely to occur outside of Blue Mountain, and searches in John Crow, where there is similar suitable habitat, have not recorded it there (I. Holmes pers. comm. December 2012). The current mapped range includes uncertain projections of species occurrence (S. Koenig pers. comm. March 2011), and is used as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO) at an estimated 52 km2. Even assuming that it could occur elsewhere in Blue Mountain, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park has an area of ca. 495 km2 (IUCN and UNEP-WCMC 2012), so this is possibly the maximum EOO for this species. The two known sites are considered to be individual threat-defined locations (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011).
Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species, found hiding under rocks in closed-canopy forest and up to one metre above the ground on vegetation (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). Eggs are laid on the ground and it breeds by direct development. It appears to be tolerant of mild habitat disturbance (I. Holmes and S. Koenig pers. comm. March 2011), given that it is found in areas that were formerly logged and are currently occupied by invasive monoculture species (wild ginger and Pittosporum spp.). However, it is not considered to be able to survive in coffee plantations (I. Holmes pers. comm. December 2012).
It is considered to have a relatively high population density for this genus; in 2011 survey efforts of 15 person/hours recorded seven frogs, five of which were recorded over a distance of 100 m (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). It was collected in March 2011 (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). Its population is not considered to be severely fragmented as per IUCN's Guidelines.
Although this species occurs in the relatively large Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park, the primary threat remains habitat destruction due to cultivation of coffee, even within the National Park where there are coffee plantations (although in this case at a slower rate than outside the park; I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). There are also logging activities occurring in between the known sites, and to some extent near one of the known sites (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). Threats outside the park include pollution from pesticides used in coffee farming. However, it is thought that the population may be resilient to this degree of habitat disturbance (S. Koenig pers. comm. March 2011). Loss of forest cover may lead to a reduction in humidity, which may also impact this species. Chytrid could be a potential threat, but at this time there is no information on either presence or impact of this fungus (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). Disturbance as a result of tourist activities is also a threat, since visitors to the park have a marked influence on the habitat and leave a great deal of litter behind; however, at this time this is considered to be a relatively minor threat (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011).
This species is known from Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park (I. Holmes pers. comm. March 2011). However, enforcement of park boundaries is needed to deter ongoing agricultural encroachment. Recommended conservation measures include improved management of the existing protected area and habitat maintenance within the national park. More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status and natural history.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient given that there is still very little known about its extent of occurrence (EOO), area of occupancy (AOO), population status and ecological requirements.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Eleutherodactylus alticola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T56408A3038255. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T56408A3038255.en .Downloaded on 18 November 2018