This species occurs in the Colombian Pacific lowlands, in Valle de Cauca and Chocó Departments, between 50–900 m asl (D. Mejía pers. comm. August 2016). Its EOO is 32,941 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in tropical humid forest. It lives in leaf-litter in humid forests close to water sources and has been found in primary and secondary forest, but not in heavily degraded areas. It is presumed to breed in streams.
It is a locally common species (Gómez-Hoyos et al. 2014). However, it can be uncommon or has not been seen since the 1990s in several localities where chytridiomycosis has been reported (Flechas et al. 2015, D. Mejía pers comm. August 2016). There has been extensive searches for the species east of Serrania Baudó with no results (D. Mejía pers comm. August 2016).
Localized threats affecting the species include deforestation for agricultural development, illegal crops, illegal mining activities, and logging. It is also found in the illegal pet trade, but its effect on the population is unknown.
In one subpopulation, individuals have been reported with chytridiomycosis (Flechas et al. 2015), and it has disappeared from a large extent of its distribution (W. Bolívar, A. Ramírez, F. Vargas-Salinas, P. Gutiérrez, M. Bernal, G. González and D. Gómez pers. comm. August 2016). There is no information about how chytridiomycosis affects the species in all its range, but observed declines are consistent with other Atelopus species in the region (even though the most severe declines having occurred in montane 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).
The range of the species includes several protected areas including Utría National Park and Reserva Natural El Amargal.
Continued population monitoring is required, especially in light of the potential threat of chytridiomycosis. Further research in taxonomy, population trends, ecology and distribution are also recommended for the species, with more surveys east of the Serrania Baudó where the species was last observed prior to the 1990s.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
This species is listed as NT because it has a large distribution with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 32,941 km2, it is locally common in several areas, and confirmed ongoing threats are only considered to be localized. However, recently the species has only been observed in a narrow area near the coast with a small EOO ( 9,175 km2). If it is confirmed that the species has a reduction in its distribution at this level, it could be categorized under a threatened category in the near future.
Some subpopulations from the central and northern part of its range are considered a species complex (D. Mejía pers. comm. August 2016).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus spurrelli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54556A49538284. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54556A49538284.en