This species is known from at least nine geographical localities in the northern part of the Cordillera Central, Regions of Amazonas and San Martín, northern Peru (Duellman et al. 2014). It occurs from 2,360–3,308 m asl (Duellman et al. 2014). It is possible that it might occur further south, as additional surveys are needed in the area between the regions of Amazonas, the higher elevation part of San Martín and east of La Libertad, east of the Marañón river (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) based on known records is calculated at 2,484 km2; however, its area of occupancy (AOO) is likely to be much smaller as it is restricted to the tree line and high elevation grasslands within its range area (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014).
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in montane environments modified by agriculture (i.e. crop fields and pastures), in humid puna and grassy landscapes dominated by bunch grass (Stipa) with terrestrial bromeliads, scattered bushes and scattered patches of elfin forest (Duellman et al. 2014). Individuals have been found on bushes adjacent to, and on emergent vegetation in, a marshy and slow-moving stream, bromeliads, agricultural fields and small ponds (Duellman et al. 2014). Reproduction involves carrying eggs in a brood pouch, where eggs develop into tadpoles that later complete their development in ponds (Duellman et al. 2014).
It is considered to be abundant in the different environments where it is found (Duellman et al. 2014).
The greatest threat to this species is the burning of high elevation grasslands (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). Livestock trampling also damages the habitat, although this is not considered to be as serious a threat as fires (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). Enciso et al. (2008) reported Aeromonas caviae and other bacteria from skin samples of Gastrotheca monticola (now known to be G. aguaruna; one of these individuals was a referred specimen in this species' description, P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). These authors suggest that there is a potential for infection and development of the disease if biological populations undergo stress.
It can be found within the Área de Conservación Privada Huiquilla (Duellman et al. 2014) and Área de Conservación Privada Los Chilchos (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). More information is needed on this species' distribution.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened given that its extent of occurrence (EOO) is calculated to be 2,484 km2 and, while it appears to be tolerant of various habitats - including modified ones - and is presumed to have a large population, there is ongoing habitat loss due to burning of its preferred high elevation grassland habitat, and there is also the potential for Aeromonas caviae infection if the species undergoes stress.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Gastrotheca aguaruna. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T57505356A57505363. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T57505356A57505363.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019