This species is known from north of Department of Valle del Cauca (Serranía de los Paraguas) to southeastern of Department of Choco (Cerro Torrá), Colombia, between 1,900–2,250 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 262 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species that occurs in montane forest on the forest floor and near the forest edge. It has not been recorded from anthropogenically disturbed habitats. Although there is limited ecological information, it is expected to be egg-laying and breed in streams by larval development, as with other congeners.
It is known from fewer than 10 specimens. The species was last collected in 1998, and the area has been recently surveyed since then on several occasions with no success in finding it (W. Bolívar pers. comm. 2016). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Habitat destruction and degradation due to cattle grazing, agriculture activities and logging in the north of its distribution an illegal mining activities in the western part are considered major threats. The 2004 assessment reported that chytridiomycosis was probably the major threat, leading to a catastrophic population decline. While there is currently no direct information confirming that chytrid has caused declines in this species, the lack of records since 1998 is consistent with the pattern of decline in many other montane Atelopus species, and it is therefore reasonable to infer that the disease might be the cause of declines in this species (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).
Conservation ActionsThe range of the species includes Tatamá National Park and Reserva Natural Cerro El Inglés.
In light of the threat of chytridiomycosis, it may be advisable to establish an ex situ breeding program should any further individuals be located.
Further research in population trends, ecology, threats and distribution are recommended for the species.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) as it has not been recorded since 1998 and subsequent surveys have not found the species. While there is no direct information available, it is suspected that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has caused the declines observed in this species and that the number of mature individuals might be fewer than 50.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus chocoensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54499A49534920. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54499A49534920.en