This species is known from several localities in the Andean foothills along the headwaters of the Río Madre de Dios basin, in Cusco, Puno, and Madre de Dios Regions of Peru (Padial et al. 2012). It occurs at elevations from 685–1,235 m asl, it occurs in three to nine threat-defined locations, and its EOO is 19,595 km2. It may occur more widely than currently mapped, possibly into Bolivia (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017).
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in forests of the Andean foothills. This area is covered by Amazonian forest with Guadua spp. formations as well as primary forest with predominant presence of trees of the genera Erythrina, Ormosia, Inga, Hevea, and Virola. Frogs are active on the ground at night during the end of the rainy season (April). Its breeding biology is unknown, but it is presumed to breed by direct development similar to its congeners. Although testis and vocal slits were evident in all three males specimens that have been collected, they greatly differ in size (20.7–30.8 SVL), which might indicate that males reach maturity early in development (Padial et al. 2012).
The type series is comprised of three specimens recorded from two localities. Three additional individuals were collected during June–September 2013 (Villacampa Ortega 2013). The species is very common at Villa Carmen biological station in the buffer zone of Manu National Park, has been recorded from the Kosñipata Valley, and from lower elevations at the Manu Learning Center, which is also in the buffer zone of Manu National Park (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017). Moreover the species was reported in 2016 from the buffer zone of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park near the Inca Mine at Santo Domingo (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017). The population trend is unknown.
The species overlaps with large areas where creeks and streams are being destroyed by gold mining and this is a severe issue in the lowlands. The forest in which the species occurs is also destroyed by these activities, but because the species does not rely on running water for reproduction, it is possible that the species is able to survive in these areas (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017). Logging, cattle grazing, and oil exploration are also taking place throughout its range, which degrades and destroys its habitat.
This species occurs in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and the private land of the Manu Learning Center in Madre de Dios. It has not been recorded in Manu National Park, but may occur there. It is listed as Endangered (EN) 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.
Improved habitat protection is required at sites where this species is known to occur.
Further research on this species' distribution, population status, ecology and life history is needed.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable, as this species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 19,595 km2, it occurs in three to nine threat-defined locations, and there is a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat in the Andean foothills along the headwaters of the Río Madre de Dios basin.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Oreobates amarakaeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T87763480A87763500. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T87763480A87763500.en .Downloaded on 18 February 2019