This species lives on the eastern slope of the eastern Andes, Meta Department: Villavicencio, Vereda Portachuelo, Acacias, via Manzanares, Colombia, between 1,370–1,560 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 331 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of cloud forest, with breeding and larval development taking place in streams. It tolerates natural disturbances such as landslides, but not significant opening up of its habitat.
This species was abundant in the early 1980s, but was last seen in 1985 (despite subsequent surveys in 1987). Between 2005 and 2006 with 309 man-hours of survey effort between three field trips, G. Chaves-Portilla (pers. comm. August 2016) did not record the species. The population size is suspected to be fewer than 50 mature individuals and, due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, any remaining population is suspected to be decreasing.
This species occurs in a very restricted area that is severely threatened by habitat destruction, as it is found in a forest fragment surrounded by cattle ranching and is far away from other forest fragments. The region contains anti-personal mines. 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 1985 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.
In view of the severe risk of chytridiomycosis, ex situ populations might need to be established should any further individuals be located.
Surveys are urgently needed to determine the population status of the species.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because it has not been recorded since 1985. Subsequent surveys have not found the species and, while there is no direct information available, it is suspected that Bd has caused the declines observed in this species, and the number of mature individuals would be fewer than 50.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus minutulus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54527A49536574. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54527A49536574.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019