This species is known from the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in Valle del Cauca, Risaralda and Antioquia Departments, and from the western slopes north of the Cordillera Central in Caldas and Antioquia Departments, Colombia. It has been recorded between 1,680–2,320 m asl, its EOO is 12,813 km2, and it occurs in four to five threat-defined locations.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs mostly on leaves or branches along streams in cloud forest. It can also survive in secondary forests, but not in open areas outside forest. It breeds by direct development.
It was a common species, but it is now considered as rare. An individual was recorded in the late part of the 1990s, and two more were recently collected in 2014 due to recent surveys searching for the species (W. Bolívar pers. comm. August 2016). Due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Major threats included habitat loss due to agriculture activities, cattle ranching and mining activities throughout its range.
Other species of this genus associated with streams at high elevations have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances possibly due to chytridiomycosis, so the status of this species should be monitored carefully. This species suffered a drastic population declines at the end of the 1990s, but there is no information on whether Bd was the cause (B. Wilmar pers. comm. August 2016). Individuals from Valle de Cauca tested positive for Bd (Velázquez-E et al. 2008) suggesting that chytridiomycosis could be a threat to this species, although no mortalities or ill effects have yet been observed.
The species has been found in Farallones de Cali National Park. Its range also includes Tatamá and Regional Reserve Ucumarí.
Further research in population trends, ecology and distribution are recommended for the species.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is about 12,813 km2, it occurs in about four to five threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of habitat due agriculture activities, cattle ranching and mining activities throughout its range. This once common species has not recuperated from a drastic population decline, inferred from the apparent disappearance from most of the known localities, possibly due to chytridiomycosis in the late part of the decade of 1990.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis gracilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T56626A85863583. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T56626A85863583.en .Downloaded on 18 January 2019