This species is known from two threat-defined locations in Colombia: 1) the lower slopes of the northwestern portion of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Magdalena Department, and 2) near Nabusimake in the southeastern sector of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Granda-Rodríguez et al. 2008). These locations are geographically distinct and separated by high mountain formations; the threat of habitat loss differs in severity between sites. It occurs between 680 and 1,540 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 2,340 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs along streams in cloud forest and dry tropical forests near the Caribbean coast. The eggs are laid in bromeliads, and the larvae are then carried on the back of the adults to water where they develop further. It is not known if the species tolerates habitat alteration.
It is a common species and the population appears to be stable within protected areas (O. Cortés pers. comm. 2014).
The major threat is habitat loss and degradation resulting from crops and livestock, as well as logging, agricultural pollution and infrastructure development. Droughts also represent a plausible threat to this species (O. Cortés pers. comm. 2014).
It occurs in Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and in the adjacent El Dorado Nature Reserve, which was established in 2006 (Fundación ProAves 2006). It also occurs within the Námaku Private Reserve (González-Maya et al. 2011). Additional habitat protection is needed outside of the protected areas and continued enforcement of these areas will be important for maintaining critical forest habitat within the range. Habitat loss resulting from forest conversion for livestock and agriculture has been documented in the southeastern sector of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Granda-Rodríguez et al. 2008). Research is needed to better understand its life history and current threats.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 2,340 km2, it is considered to occur in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Colostethus ruthveni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T55144A60780654. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T55144A60780654.en