This species is known from only one site: Granjas del Padre Luna, Municipio de Alban, western slope of the Cordillera Oriental, in Cundinamarca Department, Colombia, at 2,090 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are both 4 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in streams in cloud forest where it reproduces by larval development in rapid streams. The type locality is a waterfall with riparian vegetation surrounded by livestock pastures and there are no reports of this species using pastures or forest edges (Chaves-Portilla pers. comm. 2016).
This species was known to be abundant up until around 1995. Six subsequent visits and some 80 hours of searching during the course of 2002–2003 turned up only one tadpole, perhaps indicative of a serious decline. In 2007–2008 a more extensive survey was conducted in the type locality and surrounding areas, involving an effort of 196 person-hours, yet no individuals of this species were found (G. Chavez pers. comm. August 2016). After 2008 additional, shorter field expeditions also failed to find any individuals of this species (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).
Habitat loss and degradation is a major threat to this species, mainly caused by agricultural expansion (such as potato production and associated agrochemicals), human settlement and logging. 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 the 1990s (apart from one tadpole record) 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).
This species has not been recorded in any protected areas.
There is an urgent need for improved habitat protection at its only known locality. Given the probable threat of chytridiomycosis, disease management and captive-breeding programmes might be required should any further individuals be found.
Further survey work is required to determine the current population status of this species.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) as it is known only from the type locality and has not been recorded since 2003. While there is no direct information available and there has been a lack of surveys, it is suspected that Bd has caused the declines observed in this species, and that the number of mature individuals would be fewer than 50.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus farci. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54510A49535647. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54510A49535647.en