This species occurs on the western slopes of the Andes in southern Ecuador, at elevations of 850-2,760m asl. It also occurs on the Pacific and Amazonian slopes of the Andes in the Huancabamba depression, Piura Department, northern Peru, at 600-1,800m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in dry and humid lowland and premontane forest, and occurs near streams, especially in dry forests. The larvae presumably develop in streams.
It is an uncommon species. In Ecuador, populations from Loja and nearby localities at the higher altitudes of its range seem to be extinct, but lowland populations are still extant with records as recently as 2003.
The cause of the declines at high elevations, which have taken place even in suitable habitat, could be due to chytridiomycosis. Habitat destruction and degradation, in particular due to agricultural activities, is also a threat to this species, and the species may also be impacted by invasive alien species and pollution.
It does not occur in any protected areas, and some form of formal habitat protection is urgently needed. Further survey work is needed to determine whether any animals survive around Loja and other nearby localities.
Javier Icochea, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron 2004. Hyloxalus elachyhistus. In: IUCN 2014