This species is known from two localities, which are some 20 km apart, in the Colombian Andes: Alto San Miguel and Aguadita, Municipios de Sibaté, and Fusagasuga, Cundinamarca Department, between 2,000–2,800 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in pristine and disturbed cloud forests. Breeding and larval development take place in streams.
This species was common up until the time of the last record in 1993 (Rueda-Almonacid et al. 2005). Two recent expeditions were conducted without finding any individuals. One of the expeditions in 2006 involved 130 person-hours of effort (A. Chaves-Portilla pers. comm. August 2016). The most recent expedition took place in July of 2016 involving a one day survey of the type locality (G. Gonzalez pers. comm. August 2016). It is reasonable to infer, therefore, that the population size may now have fewer than 50 individuals and that, due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat, the remaining population is decreasing.
The forest is highly fragmented and there has been logging in the remaining forest since 1950. Water pollution caused by run-off from pig farms and thrash are also serious threats. The 2004 assessment reported that chytridiomycosis was probably the major threat, leading to a catastrophic population decline. While there is currently no direct information confirming that chytrid has caused declines in this species, the lack of records since the 1990s is consistent with the pattern of decline in many other montane Atelopus 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).
Conservation ActionsThis species has not been recorded in any protected areas.
In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, ex situ populations might need to be established should any further individuals be located in the wild.
Survey work is needed to determine the population status of this species.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered (CR) under criterion D because the species was common in the past, but surveys over the last 10 years have failed to record the species and is possibly linked to the emergence of chytrid fungus in the area. It is thought that if the species still persists, it has fewer than 50 mature individuals, but that it might also be Possibly Extinct since the last record was in 1993.
This species was removed from the synonymy of Atelopus ignescens by Lynch (1986).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Atelopus subornatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T54557A49538452. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T54557A49538452.en .Downloaded on 22 January 2019