This species is known from three localities in the vicinity of Oxapampa, Pasco Region, Peru. The three localities are all within a distance of 26 km from each other and each locality is herein considered an individual threat-defined location. It is found between 1,770-2,200 m asl (Lehr et al. 2008) and its EOO is 236 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits an area of cloud forests and secondary forests with some open areas that have been converted to grassland. Individuals have been found at night on leaves up to 1.5 m above the ground and in close proximity to a permanent creek (Lehr et al. 2008, E. Lehr pers. comm. September 2009), and in one instance close to a road. Although individuals have been caught at night they showed low activity, indicating it is a diurnal species (Chávez et al. 2012). It is presumed to breed in streams.
It is thought to be a rare species given that as it has been recorded or collected in low numbers over a long period (E. Lehr pers. comm. September 2009). Only one individual was recorded during surveys over 17 transects of 200 m2 in the Lower San Alberto basin and is considered to be one of the rarest amphibians in the region (Chávez et al. 2012). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The vegetation of the road side close to the type locality is regularly cut down as part of road maintenance. In addition, the surroundings of Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park are intensively used for plantations (e.g., coffee) or for cattle breeding (Lehr et al. 2008), leading to a lot of soil erosion (E. Lehr pers. comm. September 2009) and agrochemical runoff into creeks and streams (Chávez et al. 2012). While chytrid fungus has so far not been recorded in this species, other species in this genus inhabiting montane environments have been affected by chytridiomycosis, so it cannot be ruled out as a potential threat.
This species is known to occur within the boundaries of Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park. It is listed as Endangered (EN) in Peru and has legal protection provided by the Categorization in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (Decreto Supremo Nº004-2014-MINAGRI), which bans all hunting, capture, possession, transport or export of the species for commercial purposes.
Survival programs inclusive of ex situ conservation measures have been suggested for members of this genus (Lehr et al. 2008).
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and threats. Monitoring of the population is needed to determine whether chytrid fungus is present and whether it may have affected the species.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 236 km2, it occurs in three threat-defined locations, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Oxapampa area.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Atelopus oxapampae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T158545A89222132. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T158545A89222132.en