New species of Pristimantis
Along with collaborators Edgar Lehr and Shenyu Lyu, we described a new species of terrestrial-breeding frog from the region of Cajamarca in northern Peru. Pristimantis astralos is only known from its type locality at 3600 m a.s.l. in the Cordillera Occidental. Mining operations, and especially large-scale dumping of mining debris at the type locality over the last decade, have destroyed the type locality and caused the extirpation of the population at the type locality (see Google Earth pic below).
Peru has a thriving mining industry, and is a major producer of metals including copper, gold and zinc. This industry generates important economic benefits but can also cause environmental degradation and biodiversity loss at scales from local to regional. High-elevation tropical ecosystems are rich in endemic species, and thus even localized habitat destruction could contribute to species extinction. To prevent extinctions, we need better information concerning the distribution of endemic species, which requires surveys in the field by knowledgeable herpetologists.
Citation: Lehr, E., S. Lyu and A. Catenazzi. 2021. A new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae) from a mining area in the Cordillera Occidental of northern Peru (Región Cajamarca). Salamandra 57: 15-26.
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