This species is only known from the type locality, "Piñango", at 2,920m asl, and from a second population a few kilometres away, in cloud forest near the village of Pinango, Mérida State, in the Andes of Venezuela. It has been recorded from 2,300-2,920m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of montane cloud forest. It is photophilic and lays egg chains in streams, where the tadpoles also develop.
This is a rare species. The last recorded observation was in 1997, despite repeated searches, thus suggesting a serious population decrease.
The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, which has also caused major declines in many other montane species of Atelopus. Habitat loss due to logging and agriculture (cattle ranching, crops) -- the type locality was completely destroyed by the mid-1980s -- and introduced trout, are also major threats to the species. With increased insolation as a result of climate change this species could be at enhanced risk due to its sun-basking habits.
The range of the species does not include any protected areas. Surveys are required to establish whether or not this species still survives. In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex-situ population.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last ten years, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population (probably due to chytridiomycosis); and because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2, and its Area of Occupancy is less than 10 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
Enrique La Marca, Juan Elías García-Pérez 2004. Atelopus pinangoi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54542A11164544. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T54542A11164544.en .Downloaded on 19 November 2018