This species has a wide distribution from Coquimbo to Arauco Gulf, Chile, at elevations of 0-1,500 m asl. It has an extent of occurrence of 87,243 km
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs near rivers, streams, reservoirs and ponds. Adults hide in small holes or under stones during the daytime. At night they can be found on land, relatively far from water sources. It reproduces in water near where it lives. The tadpoles are free swimming. There is hybridization with R. atacamensis in the Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions (Correa et al. 2013).
The species is locally abundant, with thousands of larvae at some sites. However, a population decline in the range of 20-25% has occurred over the past 10 years due to the decline in habitat quality and extent.
Habitat destruction is a threat to this species, as is water pollution caused by agriculture, for example pine plantations, agricultural crops and cattle. Surface water is diverted for human consumption, agriculture and timber plantations. Droughts also affect this species. It occurs in one of the most populated areas of Chile. Exotic fish and Xenopus laevis probably predate on this frog.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Rhinella arunco. In: IUCN 2014