This species was previously reported as occurring on the western flank of the Cordillera Oriental, in Fusagasuga, Cundinamarca Department, and Icononzo, Tolima Department, Colombia. It has since also been recorded in Nilo in Cundinamarca Department (Cochran and Goin 1970) and in the desert of Tatacoa, Huila Department (Acosta-Galvis 2012). The known altitudinal range was previously 1,500–1,800 m asl, but with the records of Nilo its lowest elevation recorded is 250 m asl (Cochran and Goin 1970). It occurs in two threat defined locations and its EOO is 16,731 km2 (M. Anganoy pers. comm. February 2017).
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in forested areas and is associated with streams in cloud forest and dry forest, however it seems able to tolerate some minor habitat disturbance. It has burrowing habits, thus it is a seasonal species that is found mostly during the rainy season. The eggs are laid on land, and the males carry the tadpoles to streams where they develop further.
In the past it was known to be an abundant species. No survey efforts were made for a period of 10 years, starting in 1994, and it was not recorded in that time. It has since been recorded from Tatacoa in 2004 (Acosta-Galvis 2012) and Icononzo in 2016 (A. Rymel Acosta Galvis pers. comm. February 2017). Surveys in 2010 and 2011 did not find the species at the type locality and nearby areas (Acosta-Galvis 2012, M. Anganoy-Criollo pers. comm. February 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Although this species can tolerate some habitat disturbance, there is ongoing habitat loss occurring within its range. The type locality is found within Fusagasugá city and all forested cover has been lost within city limits (M. Anganoy-Criollo pers. comm. February 2017). Also, in other near localities, large areas have been converted to farm lands (M. Anganoy-Criollo pers. comm. February 2017). Its relatively small range renders it susceptible to stochastic threatening processes.
This species has not been recorded in any protected areas. New information reveals that it is found in a small private protected area called La Tribuna in municipality of Neiva, Huila Department (M. Anganoy-Criollo and A. Rymel Acosta Galvis pers. comm. February 2017).
Although it is found in a private protected area, the creation of new and larger protected areas within the known distribution of this species is recommended (M. Anganoy, A. Rymel Acosta Galvis pers. comm. February 2017).
It requires close population monitoring given its very restricted range and seasonality.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 16,731 km2, it occurs in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat due to urban expansion, cattle grazing and agricultural activities.
This species was considered a synonym of Hyloxalus fuliginosus by Edwards (1974b).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Hyloxalus vergeli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T55164A85889122. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T55164A85889122.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019