This species occurs in the northern reaches of the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes of northwestern Peru, in the Regions of Cajamarca and Lambayeque (Duellman et al. 2014). Its known elevational range varies from 2,560 to 2,875 m asl (Duellman et al. 2014). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is calculated at 403 km2. While it is possible that this species may occur elsewhere in the northern Cordillera Occidental, perhaps as far south as the headwaters of Rio Zaña, it is probably endemic to the northern Cordillera Occidental (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). It is currently known from four geographical localities, which are herein considered to be individual threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in a landscape dominated by agricultural activities (Duellman et al. 2014). Adult individuals have been found in cattle winter pastures (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014), ploughed fields, low bushes and terrestrial spiny bromeliads, as well as in a cistern and in a village (Duellman et al. 2014), suggesting that this species may have a tolerance to a degree of habitat modification. Reproduction involves carrying eggs in a brood pouch, where eggs develop into tadpoles that later complete their development in ponds (Duellman et al. 2014). In addition, tadpoles have also been found in cattle water troughs (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014), which also suggests tolerance to habitat disturbance.
Many tadpoles were observed in the surroundings of Cutervo in 2004 (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014) and during a rainy night the same year many adults were observed emerging from agave plants (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014), suggesting that this may be a relatively common species.
It survives and even appears to do well in cultivated areas. However, there is extensive use of herbicides and chemical fertilizers in the region, but their potential impact on this species is unknown (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014).
It occurs in Cutervo National Park (P. Venegas pers. comm. 2014). More information is needed on this species' distribution and its ecology, especially its relative tolerance to pesticides and fertilizers.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern given that, even though its extent of occurrence (EOO) is calculated to be 403 km2 and it is considered to occur in four threat-defined locations, it appears to be relatively tolerant to current levels of habitat disturbance in northern Peru. However, further research is needed into the potential effect of pesticide and fertilizer use on this species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Gastrotheca aratia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T57505347A57505350. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T57505347A57505350.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019