This species is known from El Tambo, near Guisito, at 800 m asl, Cauca Department, and Playa de Oro, Tadó, Chocó Department, Colombia (Lötters 1996, Lynch and Suárez-Mayorga 2004). Lötters (1996) suggested that the elevation given for the type locality (300 m asl) was a typographic error in the original publication. Its EOO is 576 km2 and it is thought to occur in two threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species lives on the ground in tropical humid forests, and presumably breeds in streams. It has been found along a stream in a remnant gallery forest, but not in disturbed areas (J. Guerrero-Vargas, pers. comm. August 2016). Although there is limited ecological information, it is expected to breed in streams by larval development, as with other congeners.
This species was last recorded in 2002 in El Tambo (J. Guerrero-Vargas, pers. comm. August 2016). Since then, the region has become too dangerous to visit. The last observation of the species at Playa del Oro is not documented (Lynch and Suárez-Mayorga 2004). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The major threats are illicit crops (El Tambo) and mining (Playa de Oro), which are extensive and ongoing in their respective localities. The 2004 assessment suggested chytridiomycosis may be a major threat to this species however, due to the difficulty of access, there have been no studies to verify this (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016) and its occurrence at lower altitudes might afford it some level of protection from the disease.
This species does not occur in any protected areas.
In view of the potential risk of chytridiomycosis, there is a need to initiate a captive-breeding programme.
It is also a high priority to conduct surveys to determine the current population status of this species.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 576 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat due to mining and cultivation of illicit crops.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus longibrachius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54521A49536190. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54521A49536190.en