This species is known from six localities in the provinces of Morona-Santiago and Loja, in the south-eastern versant of the Cordillera Oriental, the Cordillera de Cutucú, and the Cordillera del Cóndor, in eastern Ecuador. It has been recorded from 800-2,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of humid montane forest. There is no specific information known about breeding habits, though it is likely to be similar to other Atelopus species, with breeding taking place in streams.
It is a rare species, and there have been no records since 1984, although some localities at which the species is known to occur have not been well surveyed. It is not known precisely whether or not populations have declined as observed in other Atelopus in the Ecuadorian Andes, though this seems likely.
Agriculture, as well as mining and infrastructure development for human settlement, are major threats to the species habitat, and much of the natural vegetation within its known distribution area has been cleared. Pollution of streams is also a threat. It is almost certainly at severe risk from chytridiomycosis.
The distribution range of this species overlaps with Parque Nacional Sangay, which is a World Heritage Site. Surveys are urgently needed to determine whether or not this species still persists within its natural range. Given the threat of chytridiomycosis, successful conservation measures will probably need to include the maintenance of any surviving individuals in captivity.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a projected population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the next ten years, inferred from declines in other high altitude Atelopus species in the same region, probably due to chytridiomycosis.
Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Martín R. Bustamante, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Ana Almendáriz, Manuel Morales 2004. Atelopus boulengeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54493A11142470. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T54493A11142470.en