This species is known from four localities on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in Río Salado and the Cascada de San Rafael, Napo Province, Ecuador, and from 35 km southwest of San Francisco, Putumayo department, Colombia. It is found at altitudes of 1,300-1,900m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in cloud forest. The holotype was found in a bromeliad in the spray zone of a waterfall and on a cliff (Lynch and Duellman, 1973). It lays its eggs on vegetation, and the larvae develop in water.
It is known to be rare; it was last recorded in 1979 and searches in 1999-2001 failed to turn up any individuals (Bustamante, 2002). However, the sampling effort throughout its range has probably been insufficient.
Habitat destruction and degradation, as a result of agriculture and logging, are the main threats to this species. It is possible that chytridiomycosis may also have contributed to the decline. Predictions suggest that in Ecuador, almost half of the habitats suitable for this species have been deforested (Cisneros-Heredia, 2008).
Its distribution may overlap marginally with the Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca. Improved protection of the montane forest habitat in the range of this species is necessary. Given the possible threat of chytridiomycosis, surveys are needed to determine this species' current population status.
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Diego Cisneros-Heredia 2010. Espadarana audax. In: IUCN 2014