Rhinella achavali can be found in two hill systems (known as ‘‘Cuchillas’’; Cuchilla de Haedo and Cuchilla Grande) in northeastern Uruguay, at an altitude of approximately 500 masl (Maneyro et al., 2004), and across several localities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (100-374 masl), southern Brazil (Kwet et al., 2006).
Habitat and Ecology
This is a mostly nocturnal species found in or near small forest streams (Maneyro et al., 2004; Kwet et al., 2006). Individuals can be found perched on tree-trunks, about 20-50 cm above the water surface, and sometimes under stones or in the water (Kwet et al., 2006). The species was recently found in artificially-forested (Pinus, Eucalyptus) environments (R. Maneyro, pers. comm.).
The hill systems of Uruguay where the species is found exhibit a particular hydrographic system and associated vegetation that have other endemic species of bufonids, i.e. Melanophryniscus orejasmirandai and Melanophryniscus sanmartini. The tadpole, eggs and vocalizations of R. achavali are not currently known (Maneyro et al., 2004; Kwet et al., 2006). While this may be considered an "explosive" breeder, the breeding season appears to be a lengthy one, on a yearly basis (R. Maneyro, pers. comm.).
This is a common species in those areas where it is found, although the habitat itself is considered to be specialized (R. Maneyro, pers. comm.).
Due to its small distribution range, Maneyro and Langone (2001) classified R. achavali (as Bufo sp.) as potentially threatened in Uruguay. Kwet et al. (2006) indicate that data are still insufficient to assess the distributional range and threat category of this species in Rio Grande do Sul, but that R. achavali may have a wider distribution than presently acknowledged, being sometimes mistaken for R. arenarum or R. icterica.
A major part of the environment where this species was recorded is considered to be a “zona de prioridad forestal”, meaning that the area is likely to be drastically modified in the future as native vegetation is being replaced with plantations of exotic wood species. It is thus important to conduct monitoring studies that address the impact of these forestry practices on R. achavali (R. Maneyro, pers. comm.).
No conservation areas are currently known for this species.
In the R. marina group according to the original publication. Rhinella achavali can be distinguished from other similar species by a combination of morphological features and colour patterns (Maneyro et al., 2004).
Raúl Maneyro 2010. Rhinella achavali. In: IUCN 2014