The species is known from three localities: Chaglla (Lehr 2002, Lehr et al. 2002, Lehr 2005), Santa María de Valle (type locality; Vellard 1955) and Ambo (G. Chavez pers. comm. April 2017), Huánuco Region, Peru. It could be also found in Pachitea Province (specimens were collected and brought in by locals) in the Region of Huánuco. Its elevational range is 2,300–3,000 m asl (Lehr 2005), its EOO is 1,406 km2 and all individuals are considered to occur in one threat-defined location.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a semi-aquatic frog that inhabits permanent streams in puna and cloud forests (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008). It is presumed to breed by larval development in streams.
This is considered to be a rare species (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008). Two-week long herpetological surveys in August 1998 and April 1999 in Chaglla and vicinities did not render any individuals. However, four specimens brought in by local farmers during the 1998 survey (together with T. brevirostris) are presumed to have been collected in the vicinity of Chaglla (Lehr 2002, Lehr et al. 2002, Lehr 2005), given that requests for frogs were made in the morning and specimens were brought in the afternoon the specimens are likely to have been collected there as enough time had passed between the request and the time when the specimens were delivered (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). In the 1999 surveys, requests for specimens did not produce any records (C. Aguilar pers. comm. December 2010). The most recent record of the species was from Sacsahuanca, Ambo, Huanuco in 2014 at 3,411 m asl in an interandean forest by Vilma Duran and Lesly Lujan (G. Chavez pers. comm. April 2017).
The population is suspected to be decreasing due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, and harvesting for human consumption.
Major threats include water pollution derived from agriculture (potato cultivation) and the use of agrochemicals and waste derived from the mining industry, and deforestation. It is also possible that the species may be used as a food source and in traditional medicine (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008). Similar to its congeners, this species is likely to be very susceptible to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The pathogen has yet to be reported from this species and no analyses have been done for samples of this species; however there are several reports of infections in congeners in southern Peru (Seimon et al. 2005, Catenazzi et al. 2011, A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017).
It is not known to be present in any protected areas. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) in Peru and has legal protection provided by the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI), which bans all hunting, capture, possession, transport or export of the species for commercial purposes.
Water and habitat protection are needed in those areas where the species may be affected by pollution and mining.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, and natural history. Studies should focus on obtaining positive identification of the species in local markets and on determining the rate of harvest.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,406 km2, it occurs in one threat-defined location, there is a continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat primarily caused by water pollution, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals due to illegal offtake from the wild.
Telmatobius punctatus was previously considered to be a subspecies of Telmatobius brevirostris; it was elevated to specific status by Lehr (2005) based on differences in morphological features and colour patterns.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Telmatobius punctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T136129A517865. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T136129A517865.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019