Atelopus petersi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Atelopus petersi
Species Authority: Coloma, Lötters, Duellman & Miranda-Leiva, 2007
Taxonomic Notes: Atelopus petersi can be distinguished from other similar species by a combination of morphological features and different colour patterns (Coloma et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Luis A. Coloma
Reviewer(s): Ariadne Angulo and Simon Stuart
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) 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, perhaps due to climate change and chytridiomycosis.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Atelopus petersi occurs in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes in Ecuador, Provinces of Napo and Chimborazo, at elevations of 2,660-3,300 m asl (Coloma et al. 2007).
Possibly extinct:
Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The last record for this species in Napo Province was a dead individual, found on 8 November 1996. Despite occasional efforts to locate A. petersi subsequently, no additional individuals have been found. In the past, A. petersi was a very common species in the vicinity of Papallacta. Interviews with local people revealed that these toads once were abundant but have not been seen for several years, although in Oyacachi some people claimed, on September 2003, that from time to time they still see single individuals (Coloma et al. 2007).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species inhabits montane cloud forest and high montane evergreen forest. Knowledge on the life history of Atelopus petersi is poor. Individuals were formerly found under rocks at the edge of a stream, in streambeds, under logs on grassy hillsides, on cushion plants in paramo habitat, on a trail, along the border of the river. Atelopus petersi (as A. pachydermus) occurs sympatrically with A. ignescens sensu stricto (Coloma et al. 2007).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The area of occurrence of Atelopus petersi is close is to areas where climate abnormalities have occurred and Atelopus and Telmatobius extinctions have been reported. They are also close to areas where the chytrid fungus has occurred, or its presence is predicted. Given this scenario and considering the overwhelming evidence that Atelopus has been affected by these two key factors in the highlands, it is likely that A. petersi may be extinct, although the possibility of existing relictual populations may not be overlooked (Coloma et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Its altitudinal range overlaps with that of Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca (Coloma 2005).

Citation: Luis A. Coloma 2008. Atelopus petersi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 March 2015.
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