This species is restricted to the Valle de Sibundoy, Department of Putumayo, in the Cordillera Oriental, southern Colombia. This valley is c. 20 km long from west to east and c. 17 km wide. The species can be found from 2,000–2,319 m Asl, its EOO is 154 km2, its AOO is 132 km2, and it is considered to occur at four threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits open areas and fragments of riparian vegetation (e.g., reeds ["totora", Scirpus californicus], plants in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), bushes, small trees) along streams and ditches. All of the known localities are in cultivated areas; the species has not been found in forest. Males have been heard calling from a corn field. Males call year round, but calling activity increases and breeding likely occurs during relatively dry periods from September to February (J. Mueses-Cisneros unpubl. data 2016). The eggs develop in a pouch on the back of the female and the larvae are then transported to small pools where they develop further. One brooding female produced 134 tadpoles.
This is an abundant species in agricultural areas in the Valle de Sibundoy (Mueses-Cisneros 2005). Mueses-Cisneros (2005) surveyed 12 localities in the Sibundoy Valley and reported an estimated 2,280–3,600 males calling from ditches between agricultural fields and from riparian fragments along the Río Putumayo. At least 100–150 males were calling from a corn field in January 2012 (J.E. Pérez Villota pers. obs. In: Pérez Villota and Duellman 2012), and many individuals were recorded during a short visit in 2016 (J. Mueses-Cisneros pers. comm. August 2016). There is no evidence for population decline in the species (Pérez Villota and Duellman 2012) and the population is not considered severely fragmented.
Threats are currently considered to be minor. The major threats potentially afflicting this species are the removal of reeds, shrubs and herbs in their breeding habitat, and water pollution from agriculture and use of agrochemicals. Parts of the valley where the species occurs are threatened by urbanization. It is capable of occupying modified habitats, including agricultural areas (Pérez Villota and Duellman 2012).
It is not known from any protected areas.
It is recommended that a portion of the wetlands and old riverbeds be included within the system of protected areas of Colombia (Mueses-Cisneros 2005).
Research is needed to determine how agricultural threats, especially contamination of the water, affects this species, which has apparently persisted for a long time in a cattle ranching region.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because although the species is able to persist in modified habitats and appears not to be in decline at present, its range is very restricted—extent of occurrence (EOO) is 154 km2, area of occupancy (AOO) of 132 km2—, it does not occur in any protected areas, and the species is potentially threatened by changing agriculture and livestock farming practices. If threats intensify, the species would qualify for Endangered (AOO <500 km2, occurrence in four locations, and continuing decline in quality of habitat).
This genus has recently been moved from the family Hylidae (Faivovich et al. 2005).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Gastrotheca ruizi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T55358A3029088. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T55358A3029088.en .Downloaded on 19 January 2019