This species occurs in all three Cordilleras of Colombia from Antioquia, Caldas and Boyaca Departments, south to the north-western Andean slopes of Ecuador in Carchi and Pichincha Provinces. It has been recorded between 1,750 and 2,500m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits cloud forest, where it can be found on vegetation next to running water or on rocks in streams and behind waterfalls. The eggs are placed on boulders in the splash zone of fast-flowing streams and waterfalls. It is a very territorial species, and the males guard the eggs. It is very susceptible to deforestation, and does not survive in degraded habitats.
It is localized, but can be conspicuous in its microhabitat. In Ecuador, the population at Quebrada Zapadores (Pichincha Province) appears to have disappeared.
The major threat is habitat loss and deforestation, as a result of agricultural development (particularly the planting of illegal crops), logging, and human settlement. Other threats include the introduction of alien predatory fish in streams, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. Like some other species in its family, it might also be affected by the movement of the cloud layer up the mountain sides as a result of climate change, resulting in reduced humidity within the altitudinal range of the species (probably exacerbated by habitat fragmentation). Chytridiomycosis also cannot be ruled out as a potential threat.
It occurs in several protected areas in Colombia, but none in Ecuador. Further introductions of predatory alien fish should be prevented. The species is in need of close population monitoring given the potential threat of chytridiomycosis.
Red List Status
In spite of its Amazonian type locality, this species is in fact known only from the Andes.
Wilmar Bolívar, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Erik Wild, Mario Yánez-Muñoz 2004. Centrolene geckoideum. In: IUCN 2014