This species occurs in a belt surrounding the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena Department, Colombia between 600–2,000 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10,447 km2 and its range is thought to represent two threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs along streams in cloud forest, grassland and dry tropical forests near the Caribbean coast and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Individuals were found around creeks and the sides of the river (González-Maya et al. 2011) and in wood trunks, rocks, leaf litter and soil (Granda–Rodríguez et al. 2014). The species tolerates some degree of habitat alteration, but is not found close to wastewater or water with poor oxygen. 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 a common species and the population appears to be stable (O. Cortés pers. comm. 2014, Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016). It is abundant along the northern and northwestern flanks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Río Buritaca to San Pedro de la Sierra), however it is more scarce on the southeastern flank where the climate is much drier (J.V. Rueda-Almonacid pers. comm. August 2017).
There is localised habitat loss due to agricultural activities (including pollution) and livestock in the area, particularly in the southeast sector of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Granda-Rodríguez et al. 2008), though it is unlikely that these threats are significantly affecting this species' population at present (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016). The species tolerates some degree of habitat perturbation, therefore, only complete degradation of its riparian habitats and high degree of water pollution could affect its population (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).
This species occurs in Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Tayrona 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).
Research is needed to better understand its life history and current threats.
Red List Status
Listed as Near Threatened because, although this species has a relatively restricted distribution (EOO = 10,447 km2) and it occurs in two threat-defined locations and is therefore close to meeting the criteria for Vulnerable under the B criterion, it is considered common with a stable population, it tolerates a degree of habitat alteration, and threats are localised and unlikely to be significantly affecting its population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Colostethus ruthveni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T55144A85891000. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T55144A85891000.en