Bryophryne cophites 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Craugastoridae

Scientific Name: Bryophryne cophites (Lynch, 1975)
Common Name(s):
English Cusco Andes Frog, Cuzco Andes Frog
Phrynopus cophites Lynch, 1975
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: 2016-06-22
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hobin, L.
Contributor(s): Catenazzi, A., Lehr, E., Icochea M., J. & Arizabal, W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Luedtke, J., Neam, K.
Listed as Endangered on the basis that its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 42 km2, it occurs in three threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Peruvian Andes. This assessment needs to be qualified on the basis that the species' distribution is extremely poorly-known and the recognized threats are highly localized around the known localities. If this species is found to occur more widely within protected puna grasslands, it will therefore warrant listing in a less threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from the north and south slopes of Abra Acjanaco (=Acanacu, Acanaco) in the southern tip of Manu National Park, 14–27 km NNE Paucartambo, Cordillera de Paucartambo (Region of Cusco) in Peru (Lehr 2006). It is continuously distributed between approximately 3,200-3,800 m asl. (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). The frog is known from at least three locations, although the exact number is presently impossible to quantify (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). A frog resembling this species was recorded in a mountain range parallel to the Cordillera de Paucartambo in 2009, indicating that this may be a more widespread species than is presently recognized (although this record needs to be verified and it was not used to estimate number of locations). No surveys have been conducted in other grasslands in Manu National Park, which lie over 20 km from the type locality, to establish whether the frog is present in these as well (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). Although its extent of occurrence is uncertain, related species have very restricted distributions, and this frog's range is unlikely to exceed a straight line distance of 40–50 km2 along the cordillera ridge (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 42 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):3200
Upper elevation limit (metres):3800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species can be very common where it occurs; exceptionally, 20 individuals were recorded from one 10 x 10 m plot in 1997 (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). The frog appears to be highly localized, being rare or absent in other surveys (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017); for instance, being recorded only once from 10 litter plots sampled between 1974 and 1975 (Pefaur and Duellman 1980). This patchiness in the species' distribution makes it difficult to identify population trends. Surveys during 2007 and 2008 in the Region of Cusco detected 22 individuals over 25 person-days and 33 individuals over 28 person-days, respectively (von May et al. 2008). Repeated leaf litter surveys in Manu National Park recorded 60–70% fewer individuals overall in 2008 and 2009 than in 1997–1999 (Catenazzi et al. 2011); however, this includes the data from the plot with 20 individuals, which appears to have been an outlier and which was destroyed by fire in 2006 (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. March 2011, April 2017). This apparent decline may therefore be an artifact or the short-term consequence of a single stochastic event. In individual plots where this species was recorded, densities remained as high in 2008–2009 as in previous surveys (e.g., 8–10 individuals per 10 x 10 m plot in 2007; A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). The overall population trend is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This terrestrial species appears to be confined to wet puna grasslands and elfin forest habitats, and is not present in degraded areas. While it has been recorded from cloud forest within Manu, it is very rare in this habitat (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). Males lack the vocal apparatus found in most frogs, and both sexes lack eardrums and internal ear structures (Halliday 2016). Breeding takes place by direct development. The female lays around 20 eggs in a nest of moss and guards them until they hatch into froglets, 6–7 mm long (Halliday 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Grasslands along the western boundary of Manu National Park are being destroyed by the activities of smallholder farmers (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017), and this may represent the major threat to this species. Cattle grazing may also destroy the bunchgrasses where this frog occurs (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). Fires set outside the reserve have also impacted the frog's habitat, and have destroyed at least one survey plot where the species was formerly abundant (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). These threats are however restricted to areas bordering the main road, and their impacts on the population are unclear even there (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). There is anecdotal evidence that the frequency of fires at one survey site is decreasing due to improved enforcement by park rangers, although this cannot be quantified (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. February 2011, April 2017). 

In 2009, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was detected in this species at Kosñipata Valley, Manu National Park, with a prevalence of 25% (n=16) (Catenazzi et al. 2011). Chytridiomycosis is the probable cause of severe population declines in amphibian assemblages of the upper Manu National Park (Catenazzi et al. 2011), however, direct developing frogs such as this species are not likely to be affect by chytrid (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. April 2017).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species occurs in Manu National Park, and extensive suitable habitat exists in roadless areas of Manu, and the adjoining Megantoni reserve to both the north and the south of known localities (A. Catenazzi pers. comm. Feb 2011). Amphibian surveys have been confined to accessible areas of Manu with road access; as these are also the areas threatened by human activities, the threats to this species may appear more severe than they are. 

Conservation Needed
Recommended conservation measures include improved management of the existing protected area to prevent threatening activities from entering the park.

Research Needed
Further research is therefore needed to establish whether this species occurs more widely than is currently known, and studies are needed to obtain information on its population status and susceptibility to threatening processes, including chytrid fungus.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Bryophryne cophites. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T57206A89210625. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided