This species is known only from the type locality: Mesopotamia, near Páramo de Sonsón, in the municipality of Sonsón, Vereda Caunzal, on the eastern side of the Cordillera Central, about 15km to the east of the municipality of Argelia, in Colombia. It was recorded at 1,500m asl, and might occur more widely.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs on the ground in the under-storey of forest along streams; it has not been recorded from disturbed habitats. Breeding and larval development take place in streams.
The population status is unknown. This is a relatively newly described species which had not been recorded since its discovery in 1996, until its recent (2008) rediscovery (Fundación ProAves 2008).
The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, a factor implicated in catastrophic population declines in many montane species of Atelopus. Habitat loss due to smallholder farming activities and the planting of illegal crops, and water pollution from agriculture, are major threats to the species.
This species is not known from any protected areas. Research into the species' population status is currently underway (Fundación ProAves 2008). In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, ex-situ populations might need to be established.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Wilmar Bolívar, Fernando Castro 2010. Atelopus sonsonensis. In: IUCN 2014