This species is only known from the Florencia Forest, Samaná municipality in Caldas Department, in the Cordillera Central of Colombia, between 1,800–2,400 m asl. It is expected to be found in other near localities, but the area is difficult to survey due to the recent ceased armed conflict and the presence of mine lands in the region (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). Its EOO is 4 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a nocturnal species which is found on low vegetation alongside streams in primary or secondary forest with suitable canopy cover. They lay eggs in the moss beside the stream, and breed by direct development.
It is a rare species. The only known records are from the 33 specimens collected for the description (Lynch and Rueda-Almonacid 1998) of the species. Surveys at the type locality and nearby areas have been conducted annually since 2013, with no success in finding the species (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). Survey effort may also be impacted due to the recent ceased armed conflict and the presence of mine lands in the region. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The major threat is habitat loss caused by subsistence wood collecting and clear cutting, and agricultural expansion (the planting of illegal crops). In recent years, however, the trend of habitat decline has ceased somewhat due to the creation of protected area near the type locality (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). Water pollution, resulting from spraying of illegal crops, is also a threat. Illegal crops were reported to be a major threat in the 2004 assessment, however they have disappeared and it is not an important threat to the species anymore (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). In parts of its distribution, the use of the land has turned to pine plantations for logging purposes, which are owned by a single company (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
The species is an extreme habitat specialist hence increasing its vulnerability to threatening processes. Furthermore, some other species of the genus that are associated with high-elevation streams have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances, possibly due to chytridiomycosis. There is not much information to corroborate the effect of the chytrid fungus on this species, but there are several studies in process to provide better understanding (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
The species' range is within the recently gazetted (2005) Selva de Florencia National Park. The park is considered a well protected area, which is increasing in size (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
As many of the known localities of the species are outside the limits of the National Park, it is important to create a buffer zone around the park that would include the these localities (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
Further survey work is required to determine the population status, threats and trends of this species and the limits of its range. In view of the possible risk of chytridiomycosis, the status of this species should be closely monitored (G. Gonzalez pers. comm. February 2017).
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4 km2, all individuals are in a single threat-defined location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Central, in Caldas Department, Colombia.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis torrenticola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57011A85880124. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T57011A85880124.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019