This species is restricted to the type locality, near the village of Tostós in Trujillo State, in the Venezuelan Andes. Its known range is less than 100km². It has been recorded from 2,000-2,700m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a diurnal, photophilic species found on the floor of cloud forest. It lays egg chains in streams, where the tadpoles also develop.
It is a rare species, and there have been no records since it was discovered in 1988. A subsequent survey failed to record this species again, suggesting a possible decline, as is the case with many other Venezuelan Atelopus species.
The most critical threat to this species is probably chytridiomycosis. However, the type locality lies within an unprotected forested area that has been altered at a fast rate, mainly due to subsistence wood collection, and conversion to crop lands and pasture lands. With higher insolation as a result of climate change, this species could be at increased risk due to its habit of basking in the sun. La Marca and Lötters (1997) indicated that severe floods might have affected populations of this species.
Its range does not include any protected areas, and surveys are urgently needed to confirm the continued existence of this species. 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 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 Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2, and its Area of Occupancy is less than 10 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
Enrique La Marca, Juan Elías García-Pérez 2004. Atelopus chrysocorallus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54500A11151136. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T54500A11151136.en