This species occurs on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Morona Santiago Province, southern Ecuador, between 970 and 1,981m asl. Further surveys will probably show it to be more widely distributed.
Habitat and Ecology
This species' range lies within pluvial premontane forest and very humid premontane forest. The annual mean temperature is 18-24°C in both zones. The annual mean precipitation is 4,000-8,000mm in the pluvial premontane forest and 2,000-4,000mm in the very humid premontane forest (data updated from Coloma 1995). Reproduction probably takes place by females laying eggs on the ground, with the males bringing larvae to streams for development.
It has always been a rare species. It was not found during the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) expeditions of 1993, 1999 and 2003 to the Cordillera del Condór region. However, its range is in a poorly explored area, and so its population status remains unclear.
Habitat destruction and degradation due to agricultural development and logging are threats to this species. It is possibly also threatened by introduced species.
It does not occur in any protected areas.
The population from Pastaza Province reported by Coloma (1995) belongs to an undescribed species (Coloma pers. comm.)
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Taran Grant, Manuel Morales 2004. Hyloxalus exasperatus. In: IUCN 2014