This species is known only from the type locality: 15 km southeast of Maraypata, near Laguna Gwengway, province of Ambo, Huánuco Region, Peru, at 3,770 m asl (Lehr and Aguilar 2003). It may occur slightly more widely, however it is very likely to have a restricted distribution as with other members of the genus (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in the puna ecoregion. Individuals have been found in the afternoon under stones on moist underground near a laguna (Lehr and Aguilar 2003). As with other congeners, it is presumed to breed by direct development.
It is known only from several individuals collected at the type locality and is considered to be a rare species (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017). Only two adult individuals were observed over the course of three person/days in 2001 (Lehr and Aguilar 2003, von May et al. 2008). It was not been found at other nearby localities surveyed during the 2001 expedition, suggesting perhaps that this may be a geographically restricted species (E. Lehr pers. comm. September 2013). In 2003, an excursion to puna regions of the San Ramón valley, approximately 5 km south of the type locality, found no additional specimens (Lehr and Aguilar 2003), however there have been no further surveys at the type locality since 2001 (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Livestock was observed at the type locality when this species was collected, which presumably use the laguna for drinking water (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008), however, given the lack of recent surveys, it is not known whether and to what extent these threats are still impacting the species and its habitat. The trampling of stones where this species occurs by livestock likely poses a threat to this species, although the current impact is unknown (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
This species is not known from any protected area. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) in Peru according to the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI).
Habitat protection is required at the type locality of this species.
As it has not been surveyed for since 2001, it is an important priority to revisit its type locality and vicinity to relocate the species and reassess its distribution, population status, ecology and threats (E. Lehr pers. comm. April 2017).
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Data Deficient because its distribution, abundance, trend, and threats are too poorly known to allow the species to be placed in another category. However, it is important to note that the type locality was affected by livestock at the time of the species description.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Phrynopus tautzorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T135826A89217288. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T135826A89217288.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019