Telmatobius culeus faces several anthropogenic affronts, including commercial harvesting and habitat degradation (Fontúrbel 2004). Telmatobius culeus has experienced massive declines recently, estimated to be over 80% in the last 15 yrs (approximately 3 generations) (Ichochea et al 2004). There is a scarcity of published data on population size and/or declines. The principal threat to the species is overharvesting of adults. In spite of Allen’s (1922) assessment that the local people do not consume the frogs, this species is currently harvested in large quantities for consumption both locally and abroad (Fontúrbel 2004; Icochea et al. 2004). The IUCN lists this species as critically endangered (CR).
The plant Schoenoplectus californicus, around which the species spawns, is increasingly harvested to feed livestock. Pollution from nearby communities and agriculture has caused eutrophication of the lake and reduction in dissolved oxygen levels (Fontúrbel 2004, Northcote 1992). Chytridiomycosis has not been reported in this species, though it remains a threat (Icochea et al. 2004). Seimon et al. (2005) documented chytridiomycosis in Telmatobius marmoratus, which is often closely associated with T. culeus.
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