This species is only known from the vicinity of the Florencia Forest, Samaná municipality, in Caldas Department, on the Cordillera Central in the Colombian Andes, between 2,000–2,450 m asl. Its EOO is 92 km2. It is known only from two localities which represent a single threat-defined location and the updated AOO is about 4 km2. It is expected to be found in other nearby 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).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is a microhabitat specialist that occurs on top of very humid rocks in stream rapids in cloud forest. It has not been recorded away from the vicinity of rapids in forested streams. It breeds by direct development.
It is not a common species. All the specimens known were collected in the 1990s and were used for the description of the species (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). Surveys at the type locality and nearby areas have been done annually since 2013, with no success in finding it (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. In recent years the declining trend of the habitat have ceased somewhat due to the creation of protected area near the type locality (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). However due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
The main threat to this species is habitat loss caused by subsistence wood collecting and agricultural development (for coffee and cattle grazing). Illegal crops were previously reported to be another major threat, however they have disappeared and it is not an important threat to the species anymore (G. González pers. comm. February 2017). However, 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 occurs in Selva de Florencia National Park, which is considered to be a well protected area that is increasing in area. However, many of the known localities of the species are outside the limits of the National Park. (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 these localities of the species (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
Further survey work is required to determine the population status 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. There is not much information about the effect of chytrid fungus on the species, but the species associated to streams like this one have not been seen since the late part of the 1990s (G. González pers. comm. February 2017).
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 92 km2 and its area of occupancy (AOO) is about 4 km2, it occurs in a single threat-defined location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Pristimantis lichenoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T56718A85869080. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T56718A85869080.en .Downloaded on 16 January 2019