AMPHIBIAWEB
Atelopus mucubajiensis
family: Bufonidae

© 2008 Enrique La Marca (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Venezuela

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:

 

Range Description

This species has a very restricted distribution of only a few square kilometres at the type locality, in the Páramo de Mucubají, in the Sierra de Santo Domingo, Venezuelan Andes. It has an altitudinal range of 2,300-3,500m asl.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is an inhabitant of páramo and cloud forest, the highest environments in the Venezuelan Andes, resembling alpine tundra, but with daily temperature extremes. It is usually found within grasses and frailejones (Espeletia spp.), and along streams. It probably lives in the shrubs of the sub-páramo environment. It is photophilic and lays egg chains in streams, where the tadpoles also develop.

Population

It is a very rare species. This is the only Venezuelan Andean amphibian for which an ongoing population monitoring programme exists. The population seems to have experienced a drastic decline in the last 15 years or so, to the point that no individuals of this species were recorded since 1993 (adults) or 1994 (larvae), until recent surveys confirmed that a few individuals (a total of 23 encountered) continue to survive in the wild (Barrio-Amorós 2004).

Population Trend

Decreasing

Major Threats

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection was confirmed for this species in two different studies (Lampo et al. 2006a, 2006b). Introduced trout, introduced conifers, fires caused by humans, over collection, and agriculture and infrastructure development for human settlement are all major threats. Severe dry periods have been associated to the declines experienced in populations of Atelopus mucubajiensis. (Lampo et al. 2006; Santiago-Paredes and La Marca 2006). The extreme dry events are thought to have favoured the infection and propagation of chytridiomycosis, which, in synergy with other factors, could be held responsible for the observed population declines.

Conservation Actions

Most of the range of this species is within the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada. A new monitoring project for this species was recently begun (www.andigena.org). In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, an ex-situ population might need to be established.

Citation

Enrique La Marca, Suleima Santiago, Stefan Lötters, Juan Elías García-Pérez, César Luis Barrio Amorós 2010. Atelopus mucubajiensis. In: IUCN 2014

 

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