This species is distributed along the lower Andean versant in the upper Río Huallaga drainage, Departamentos San Martín and Loreto, Peru. It is present at approximately 600-900m asl. There are populations resembling this species from the north-eastern versant of Peru and adjacent Ecuador, but these are not included in this account until their taxonomic status can be more conclusively verified.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a diurnal and terrestrial species of lowland and premontane tropical forest. Breeding takes place in streams. It is not known how adaptable the species is to habitat modification.
The current population status of this species is not known, although it was recorded as recently as July 2004. It is now considered to be relatively rare, and has disappeared from many known localities.
The threats to this species include the potentially devastating impacts of chytridiomycosis (the disease is already present in northern Peru) which was confirmed in this species in 2003. Other threats include localized habitat loss through conversion to agricultural land.
The species occurs in Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul. A captive-breeding program for this species has been established, and there is ongoing research investigating the biology of a population of this species that apparently has chytridiomycosis.
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 ten years, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population (probably due to chytridiomycosis).
This species was removed from the synonymy of A. spumarius by Lötters et al. (2002b).
Stefan Lötters 2006. Atelopus pulcher. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T54544A11164921. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2006.RLTS.T54544A11164921.en