This species is found in Sierra de Juárez, north-central Oaxaca City, and Cerro San Felipe and Cerro Machin, Oaxaca, Mexico. It is also recorded from the Sierra Madre del Sur (Puerto del Gallo) in south-western Guerrero and Oaxaca. It is known from elevations of 2,200-2,865m asl. With increased survey work, it is quite likely to be found elsewhere, especially in intervening areas between known sites.
Habitat and Ecology
This stream-breeding species occurs only in pine-oak forest at high elevations. It shows a close affinity to slow streams and small bushes.
This was never a common species, but it appears to have gone into serious decline, and has not been recorded since 1984. Recent surveys at known sites to locate it have been unsuccessful.
This species has disappeared in suitable habitat, probably due to chytridiomycosis. Logging of the original pine-oak forest at Sierra de Juárez is also a major threat to this species.
The range of this species does not include any protected area, and the implementation of a conservation strategy in the Sierra de Juárez is urgent. It is a very high priority to conduct surveys to relocate this species and determine whether or not it survives in the wild; in view of the risk of chytridiomycosis, any surviving individuals might need to form the basis for a captive-breeding programme. It is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).
This species was previously included in the genus Hyla but has recently been moved to the genus Plectrohyla (Faivovich et al. 2005).
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Luis Canseco-Márquez 2004. Plectrohyla hazelae. In: IUCN 2014