This species has been recorded from different valleys in Huánuco Region, on the Andean slopes of central Peru (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008). It has been reported from Conchamarca, Yaurin, Huancamonte, Maraypata, Sacsahuanca (Province of Ambo) and Huanacaure and Achupampa (Province of Huánuco) (Lehr et al. 2000, Chávez et al. 2015, E. Lehr and R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. April 2017). It has an altitudinal range of 3,030–3,770 m asl, its estimated EOO is 1,144 km2 and it is considered to occur at three to four threat-defined locations. It is expected to have a restricted distribution (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Habitat and Ecology
This arboreal species occurs in Polylepis forest ("Queñoales"), montane forest, and disturbed secondary forest (with grasslands and bushes). It is also present in disturbed areas where humidity is high (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). It has been observed during the day on the ground, under rocks and in the leaf litter, while at night it is found on leaves between 0.3–1.5 m above ground (Lehr 2000, 2006). It presumably breeds by direct development.
The species is locally common in the leaf litter of forest during daytime and at night on plants (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2017). It was last observed in 2014; one individual was found over 48 person-hours (G. Chávez pers. comm. April 2017) and ca 10 individuals were observed in Achupampa and Huanacaure over several days of surveys (R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. April 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The Polylepis forests have been reduced drastically by human activities over the years, primarily due to potato farming and cattle ranching (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). Land burning is common to convert the land for agriculture (L. Lujan, V. Duran and G. Chávez pers. comm. April 2017) which is a threat to this species' arboreal lifestyle. This species may also be threatened by human settlement. Harvesting of moss throughout the eastern slopes of the Andes, especially within cloud forests, poses a potential threat to this species (R. von May pers. comm. April 2017).
The local people of Maraypata informally protect the remaining forest, but given the continuing rate of forest loss there might well be a need for the establishment of a formal protected area and an official management plan. It is listed as Vulnerable (VU) in Peru according to the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI).
The Cordillera de Carpish in Huánuco is not protected under Peruvian law, making it susceptible to deforestation by agriculture and timber extraction (Chávez et al. 2015). This species would likely benefit from improved habitat protection at sites where it is known to occur.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats. There is a need for monitoring the population status of this species given the ongoing threat of habitat loss.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,144 km2, it occurs in three or four threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Phrynopus horstpauli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57211A89211332. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T57211A89211332.en .Downloaded on 16 January 2019