This species occurs at moderate and intermediate elevations of central and southern Guatemala and the Sierra de las Minas, eastern Guatemala, from 1,360-1,980m asl. Its range has also recently been extended into contiguous regions of Honduras in the western ranges of the Southern Cordillera Region in the departments of Intibuca, Lemipira and Ocotepeque, up to 2,020m asl (Mendelson et al. 2005). However, McCranie and Wilson (2002) refer all Honduran material to Bufo coccifer.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in pine-oak or premontane or lower montane moist forest, and breeds in ponds, marshes and wet meadows. Males have been observed calling from the banks of ponds.
This species persists in small numbers in appropriate habitat. Nearly continuous field work throughout the range of this species in Guatemala between 1989 and 1998 produced less than 10 observations.
Its range is severely fragmented due to habitat loss, primarily due to agricultural activities. Formerly robust populations in Guatemala are now extirpated following severe alteration of montane wetlands and cloud forests, and may well have succumbed to the effects of chytrid, which has been documented in other anuran species in the same area (Mendelson et al. 2004).
A portion of the range previously occurred in the Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra de las Minas in Guatemala, but it has now been extirpated from this region. Protection of the remaining habitat of this species is urgently required. Given the threat of chytrid, this species requires close population monitoring.
Manuel Acevedo, Bruce Young 2004. Incilius ibarrai. In: IUCN 2014