This species is known from the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in western and southern Colombia in the Departments of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, and Chocó. It has an altitudinal range from 1,000–2,350 m asl. It occurs at five locations and its EOO is 6,394 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs along streams on medium to low level vegetation in primary and secondary cloud forest. Although it has not been recorded outside forest, it is tolerant of a degree of habitat disturbance. Breeding is by direct development.
Formerly considered a common species, it is now rare (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016). The species has not been recorded since the 1990s, despite surveys that have searched for it in several locations in recent years (W. Bolívar pers. comm. August 2016). The species suffered a drastic population decline at the end of the 1990s, but the cause is unknown (B. Wilmar pers comm. August 2016). The current population status is not well-understood, however due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Major threats include habitat loss caused by agricultural development, including the cultivation of illegal crops, cattle grazing and mining activities. The species suffered a drastic population declines at the end of the 1990s (B. Wilmar pers. comm. 2016), and although chytrid cannot be proven to be the cause of the apparent decline of this species, its disappearance since before 2000 is strongly suggestive of this being the case.
It occurs in Parque Nacional Natural Munchique, Parque Nacional Natural Farallones de Cali, Reserva Nacional Forestal Bosque de Yotoco, Reserva Forestal Protectora Nacional Rio Anchicayá, and Parque Nacional Natural Tatamá.
Further survey work is necessary to determine whether the species is still extant. Additional information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered in view of the lack of records of the species since before 2000 despite recent surveys, with chytridiomycosis possibly implicated in the decline, and inferred continuing population decline caused by agricultural development and mining activities. Should the species still be extant, it is likely that it survives in low numbers, possibly less than 50 mature individuals in each subpopulation.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis molybrignus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T56772A85867049. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T56772A85867049.en .Downloaded on 24 February 2019