This species is known only from two general areas: on the western versant of the Cordillera Occidental in Risaralda Department, Colombia; and seven localities on the western versant of the Andes in Ecuador in Pichincha Province. It probably occurs between these areas, but it is a rare species and hard to detect. Its altitudinal range is 1,100-1,600m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in cloud forest, including secondary forest, along streams, where it needs forest vegetation overhanging water, but it is not found in degraded habitats. It breeds in streams, with the eggs laid on leaves overhanging the water.
It is known to have undergone declines in Ecuador, but has been seen as recently as August 2001. It appears to have disappeared entirely from some regions, such as the Río Faisanes area.
The most likely cause of the severe decline of this species is the movement of the cloud layer up the mountain sides as a result of climate change, resulting in reduced humidity within the altitudinal range of the species (probably exacerbated by habitat fragmentation). Additional likely threats include: deforestation due to agricultural development, the planting of illegal crops, fire, logging, and human settlement; introduction of alien predatory fish species in streams; and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. Chytridiomycosis also cannot be ruled out.
Its distribution overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas in Ecuador, but it is not known from any protected areas in Colombia, and further protection of the cloud forest habitat of this species is necessary. Further research is needed to ascertain whether or not chytrid is a threat to this species; given the multitiude of current threats, including the impact of predatory fish, a captive-breeding programme may need to be established.
This species and Centrolene scirtetes may be conspecific (D. Cisneros-Heredia pers. comm.).
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Erik Wild, Diego Cisneros-Heredia 2004. Centrolene lynchi. In: IUCN 2014