This species is known only from Chaglla (Palma Pampa) and the Cordillera de Carpish, on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Huánuco Region, central Peru. It occurs between 2,735 and 3,380 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 309 km2 and it is known from three locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This terrestrial species inhabits montane cloud forest. It can also be found in forest edge, but not in agricultural land. Reproduction is presumed to occur by direct development. One female was found to contain 56 eggs (Lehr et al. 2002).
It is known to be rare at the type locality. Although many other localities in high and moderate elevations in the eastern Andes of central Peru were explored, the species has been found in only a few localities (Lehr, Aguilar and Köhler 2002). During surveys conducted in 2000, 14 individuals were observed over 5 person-days (von May et al. 2008). One individual was collected during visual encounter surveys in San Pedro de Carpish in November 2001, February 2002 and August 2002 (Rodríguez Mercado 2007). During several days of surveys in July 2013, six individuals of this species were found in the Unchog forest (D. Rodríguez pers. comm. April 2017). During several days of surveys in October 2014, at least six individuals were recorded in Huanacaure (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 Cordillera de Carpish is not protected under Peruvian law, making it susceptible to deforestation for agriculture and timber extraction (Chávez et al. 2015). The main threat is habitat destruction as a result of agricultural activities, primarily from potato farming and livestock ranching. The use of chemicals for agriculture is also considered a threat in Chaglla, as individuals of this species were not observed after the use of chemicals was initiated (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). Furthermore, an interstate road which crosses Cordillera de Carpish (at both sides of Chinchao river) and the developing of mining concessions in the area are additional threats to this species and its habitat (Chávez et al. 2015). 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 species is not known from any protected areas. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) in Peru according to the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI).
As the Cordillera de Carpish is known for its high levels of endemism, legal protection of the Cordillera de Carpish is recommended (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
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 major threat of habitat loss due to agriculture and mining.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 309 km2, it occurs at three locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the eastern slopes of the Andes.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Phrynopus kauneorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57214A89211672. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T57214A89211672.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019