This species is known from a single locality estimated to be less than 10km² in size (La Marca 1992) in the state of Mérida, in the Venezuelan Andes. In the past, it was most common at the Bosque de San Eusebio (La Carbonera). It has been recorded from 2,000-2,800m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of cloud forest and it is found along streams. Surviving populations, if it is still extant, are restricted to an isolated patch of forest surrounded by pasturelands. It lays eggs chains in streams, and the larvae develop in these streams.
Populations of this frog seem to be restricted to the type locality, where it was formerly abundant, but is now extremely rare, and possibly even extinct. It was last recorded in 1998, despite intensive searches for the species. Observations of population declines were made by La Marca (1995b).
The first alert about the conservation status of the species was advanced by La Marca and Reinthaler (1991). Infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in this species was reported by Lampo et al. (2006a). Local climate data indicate that one of the most severe dry seasons recorded in the region since 1970 coincided with epidemic events. Logging and agricultural expansion, both for crops and livestock, are also major threats to the species' habitat. The recent introduction of Lithobates catesbeianus in places near the type locality poses the problem of a new predator. It has been recorded occasionally in the international pet trade although not at levels thought to pose a major threat to the species.
This species occurs in Parque Nacional Sierra de La Culata and a few unprotected areas nearby (La Marca and Lötters 1997). Given the threat of chytridiomycosis, surviving individuals might need to be maintained in captivity.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last ten years, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population (probably due to chytridiomycosis); and because its Area of Occupancy is less than 10km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
This species was elevated to species status by La Marca (1983).
Enrique La Marca, Argelia Rodríguez, Juan Elías García-Pérez 2010. Atelopus carbonerensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T54495A11143193. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-2.RLTS.T54495A11143193.en