This species is found in the Northern Cordillera Oriental in the Department of Boyacá: Vijagaul, Pisba and Toquilla in Colombia (Rueda-Almonacid and Rueda-Martínez 2005). It is known to occur between elevations of 2,600–3,450 m asl (Bernal and Lynch 2008). Its EOO is 1,796 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found within leaf litter along rivers in páramo and subpáramo habitats. This species has not been found in disturbed habitat suggesting a low tolerance for habitat alteration. Reproduction occurs by larval development, whereby larvae develop in streams. Little additional ecological information exists for this species.
The species was very common until 1995, after which there began to die in large quantities along the Cuisiana River (Rueda-Almonacid and Rueda-Martínez 2005). It is currently a very rare species. In 2004, only one individual was found. In 2006, students from Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia found two individuals, one of which was found dead in the field. During 2006–2007, the species was searched for during several field surveys and was not found (D. Mejia pers. comm. 2016). There have been no surveys to relocate this species since 2007, but the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Although the current specific threats to this species are not clearly known, many congeners are classified as Critically Endangered or Possibly Extinct, so the effort to increase knowledge of this species should be made a priority (Bravo-Valencia and Rivera-Correa 2011). The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been implicated as one of the main causes for the observed population decline. Other impacts on this species include mining, agrochemical pollution (potato and onion), livestock, impacts from increased vehicular traffic, large scale habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive rainbow trout into rivers.
It occurs in Parque Nacional Natural Pisba.
Measures should be taken to monitor for the species and protect the known habitat. Captive breeding programs are also recommended.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, ecology, and threats.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,796 km2, it occurs in four threat-defined locations, and there is a continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat due to agriculture, livestock, mining, illegal crops and agrochemical pollution from potato and onion plantations. There is also some evidence of previous population declines due to chytridiomycosis.
This is a split from the broader concept of Atelopus ebenoides (Rueda-Almonacid and Rueda-Martínez 2005)
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus marinkellei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T81646204A85904070. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T81646204A85904070.en