This species is only known from the vicinity of the type locality on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Central in the municipalities of Pensilvania and Samaná, Caldas Department, Colombia, between 1,800–2,400 m asl. It may also occur in the municipalities Sonsón, Nariño and Argelia and Antioquia Department, but has not been confirmed. Its EOO is 361 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a nocturnal species, often found perching on medium to high vegetation, next to streams in primary forest with suitable canopy cover. During the day, it is found in leaf-litter on the forest floor. It breeds by direct development and lays up to 18 eggs that are deposited on moss, up to 1 m above ground.
It is a rare species. It is only known from 16 specimens collected in the 1990s, and one recent specimen collected from the type locality in 2014. Surveys to the type locality and nearby areas have been done annually since 2013, and have only found one specimen (M. Rada pers. comm. February 2017). Until recently, the type locality was occupied by non-government armed forces, and there are still mine-lands in the terrain which makes it difficult to survey the known distribution of the species (M. Rada pers. comm. February 2017). The population trend is suspected to be decreasing due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, and it seems to require the presence and proximity of its forest habitat to survive.
The main threat is habitat loss as a result of deforestation caused by logging (subsistence wood collecting, clear cutting) and agricultural development (the planting of illegal crops). The threat of illegal crops mentioned in the 2004 assessment has disappeared and it is not an important threat to the species anymore. In recent years, habitat decline has ceased somewhat due to the creation of protected area near the type locality (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). However, in parts of its distribution, the use of the land has turned to pine plantations for logging purposes, which are owned by a single company (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
There is not much information about the effect of chytrid fungus on the species, but some species associated with streams, such as this one, have not been seen since the late 1990s (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
The species' distribution is within the recently gazetted (2005) Selva de Florencia National Park. The park is considered a well protected area, which is increasing in size (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
As many of the known localities of the species are within the limits of the National Park, it is important to create a buffer zone around the park that would include the locality that falls outside the park (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
Further survey work is required to determine the population status and trends of this species and the limits of its range. In view of the possible risk of chytridiomycosis, the status of this species should be closely monitored.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 361 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Central, in Caldas Department, Colombia.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis veletis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57032A85881885. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T57032A85881885.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019