Atelopus planispina
family: Bufonidae

Anfibios del Ecuador

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ecuador


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species is known from five localities in the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes, from Volcán Reventador to the south, to Cordillera de Cutucú. It has been recorded from 1,000-2,000 m asl.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is an inhabitant of humid montane forest. There is no specific information known about breeding, but it is likely to be similar to other Atelopus species, with breeding and larval development taking place in streams.


The population of this species has declined dramatically. The last record was in July 1985 (an amplectant pair) despite repeated visits to known (El Reventador) or inferred localities (within its extent of occurrence) (Bustamante 2002).

Population Trend


Major Threats

The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, and which has also led to catastrophic population declines in many other montane species of Atelopus. Habitat loss due to agriculture (both crops and livestock), logging, mining, and infrastructure development for human settlement, as well as agricultural pollution, are also major threats.

Conservation Actions

Its distribution range overlaps with Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras, Parque Nacional Sangay, Reserva Ecológica Antisana, Parque Nacional Llanganates, and possibly Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca. Surveys are needed to establish whether or not this species still survives. In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex-situ population.

Red List Status

Critically Endangered (CR)


Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last three generations, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population, probably due to chytridiomycosis.

Taxonomic Notes

The taxonomic status of A. planispina and A. palmatus was discussed by Coloma (1997). Recent unpublished information suggests that A. palmatus might be a valid species known from the type locality (S. Lötters pers. comm.).


Ron, S.R., Coloma, L.A., Bustamante, M.R., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Lötters, S. & La Marca, E. 2004. Atelopus planispina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54543A86245065.


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