This species is endemic to the desert Pacific coastal region with Mediterranean influences from Paposo (Antofagasta region) to Las Chilcas (Valparaíso region), Chile. It occurs from 0-2,600 m asl. Its extent of occurrence is 105,010 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in and near oases and streams year-round. Reproduction takes place in permanent pools (including livestock water tanks), streams and rivers. The eggs are laid in long strings, and the larvae develop where these were laid. It is somewhat tolerant of habitat disturbances. There is hybridization with R. arunco in the Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions (Correa et al. 2013).
It is abundant at a few sites. However, it is estimated that the population has declined in the range of 35-40% over the past 10 years due to a reduction in habitat quality and quantity and is continuing to decline.
Extensive droughts and water pollution in rivers threaten local subpopulations of this species. Abstraction of surface water (both for human consumption and for agricultural use), mining, agriculture, livestock farming, and timber plantations are also affecting it. There have been local extinctions (Correa Quezada et al. 2008).
It occurs in the Pan de Azucar National Park and Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas.
Monitoring of the sub-populations is needed.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because it is estimated that the population has declined in the range of 35-40% over the past 10 years due to a reduction in habitat quality and quantity. It is affected by a wide range of threats, including land use change, abstraction of surface water for human consumption and agriculture, and droughts, which have already led to these local extinctions and are likely to be causing the population to continue to decline.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Rhinella atacamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T3177A79808774. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T3177A79808774.en