Ameerega cainarachi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Ameerega cainarachi (Schulte, 1989)
Common Name(s):
English Cainarachi Poison Frog
Spanish Rana Venenosa
Epipedobates ardens Jungfer, 1989
Epipedobates cainarachi Schulte, 1989
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-04-18
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Brown, J., Icochea M., J. & Jungfer, K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Neam, K., Hobin, L.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 2,592 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was previously only known from the type locality and adjacent areas including the Tarapoto-Yurimaguas road (San Martín Department). It is now also known from the southern Cordillera Escalera National Park nearby Tarapoto including the Cainarachi Valley, in the region of San Martín, Peru (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). It occurs between 215–1,051 m asl (J. Brown pers. comm. August 2017), however it is more common in the Huallaga canyon between elevations of 250–750 m asl (Twomey and Brown 2009). It likely occurs between known localities, although surveys are required (J. Brown pers. comm. April 2017). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 2,592 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1-5
Lower elevation limit (metres):150
Upper elevation limit (metres):750
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, as well as harvesting for the pet trade, the population is suspected to be decreasing. During 2004–2007 surveys, approximately 50 individuals were detected over more than 300 person days, in the San Martín Region (von May et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This terrestrial, diurnal frog inhabits lowland tropical moist forest and "rolling hills", and can be found in primary and possibly slightly degraded habitats. It only occurs near small brooks or streams within primary and older secondary forest. At night they have been observed perching on leaves up to 50 cm above the ground (Schulte 1989). Tadpoles are deposited in slow-moving streams (Twomey and Brown 2009) and have been observed in brooks with very little water (Schulte 1989).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is a high market demand for this species (Twomey and Brown 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is the loss of forest habitat through agriculture (coffee, palm oil and rice), livestock production, and subsistence wood collection (Catenazzi and von May 2014). Much of its habitat is near human settlements, and ongoing deforestation could have a strong negative impact on this species (Twomey and Brown 2009). It is also under threat due to illegal collecting for the pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
The species occurs within the Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservation Area and the buffer zone of Cordillera Azul National Park. It is included in Appendix II of CITES, in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with the species' survival. It is listed as Near Threatened (NT) 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.

Conservation Needed
Improved habitat protection is required at sites where this species is known to occur.

Research Needed
Further research is needed into the distribution, population status, ecology and threats affecting this species, especially with regards to the impact of illegal trade. There is a need for population monitoring of the status of this species given the threats of habitat loss and harvesting.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Brown, J. and Twomey, E. 2009. Complicated histories: three new species of poison frogs of the genus Ameerega (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from north-central Peru. Zootaxa 2049: 1-38.

Catenazzi, A. and von May, R. 2014. Conservation Status of Amphibians in Peru 1. Herpetological Monographs 28(1): 1-23.

IUCN. 2018. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-1. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2018).

Jungfer, K.-H. 1989. Pfeilgiftfrösche der gattung Epipedobates mit rot granuliertem rucken aus dem oriente von Ecuador und Peru. Salamandra 25(2): 81-98.

Lötters, S., Jungfer, K-H., Henkel, H-W. and Schmitz, W. 2007. Poison Frogs: Biology, Species & Captive Husbandry. Chimaira, Frankfurt/Main.

Roberts, J.L., Brown, J.L., von May, R., Arizabal, W., Schulte, R. and Summers, K. 2006. Genetic divergence and speciation in lowland and montane Peruvian poison frogs. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 41(1): 149–164.

Rodriguez, L. and Myers, C.W. 1993. A new poison frog from Manu National Park, Southeastern Peru (Dendrobatidae, Epipedobates). American Museum Novitates 3068: 1-15.

Schulte, R. 1989. Nueva especie de rana venenosa del género Epipedobates registrada en la Cordillera Oriental, departamento de San Martín. Boletín de Lima 63: 41-46.

Tasker, K. and Twomey, E. 2015. Amphibians of Cordillera Azul National Park. The Field Museum, Chicago Available at:

Twomey, E. and Brown, J. 2009. Available at:

von May, R., Catenazzi, A., Angulo, A., Brown, J.L., Carrillo, J., Chávez, G., Córdova, J.H., Curo, A., Delgado, A., Enciso, M.A., Guttiérez, R., Lehr, E., Martínez, J.L., Martina-Müller, M., Miranda, A., Neira, D.R., Ochoa, J.A., Quiroz, A.J., Rodríguez, D.A., Rodríguez, L.O., Salas, A.W., Seimon, T., Seimon, A., Siu-Ting, K., Suárez, J., Torres, C. and Twomey, E. 2008. Current state of conservation knowledge on threatened amphibian species in Peru. Tropical Conservation Science 1(4): 376-396.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Ameerega cainarachi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T55219A89201830. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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