This species is considered to be restricted to the Kosñipata Valley on the northeastern slopes of the Cadena de Paucartambo, an extension of the Cordillera Oriental, in the buffer zone of Manu National Park in the Cusco Region, Peru. It occurs from 1,580–1,700 m asl and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 28 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits riparian vegetation in submontane and montane cloud forest. It can be found in tall forest with some tree ferns and bromeliads and luxuriant undergrowth of mosses and ferns. Except for a single individual that was collected under a rock, all specimens have been recorded calling from low vegetation in cloud forest at night. It is not known from modified habitats. This species breeds by direct development.
It was last collected and seen in 1999 and has not been seen since despite targeted surveys in 2008, 2009, and every year between 2012–2016 (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017). Three individuals observed in 2008 and reported in von May et al. (2008) do not belong to the species (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017). If it is still extant, the population size would likely be less than 50 mature individuals (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. May 2017).
Outbreaks of chytridiomycosis are known to have caused collapse of amphibian communities around the type locality. Although this species is a direct developer thought to be less exposed to infection, it occurs along creeks where most of the species extirpated during chytrid outbreaks also occurred. This pattern suggests that chytrid might also be a threat to subpopulations of this species and may have caused a local extirpation in the buffer zone of Manu National Park, where it has not been seen since 1999.
Part of the range is well protected within Manu National Park. It is listed as Endangered (EN) in Peru according to the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI).
Should it still be extant, ex situ and species recovery considerations are recommended for this species.
Further survey work is necessary to determine the species' distribution current population status and whether it is indeed confined to the Kosñipata Valley. More information is also needed on this species' ecology and threats.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) under criterion D because despite targeted and ongoing searches in suitable habitat in historical localities, this species has not been seen at all from 1999 to 2017, which suggests that if this species is still extant the pool of remaining mature individuals is likely fewer than 50.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis cosnipatae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T56526A89206416. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T56526A89206416.en .Downloaded on 21 January 2019