Atelopus epikeisthos 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus epikeisthos Lötters, Schulte & Duellman, 2004
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Atelopus epikeisthos can be distinguished from other similar species by a combination of morphological features and colour patterns (Lötters et al. 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Stefan Lötters
Reviewer(s): Ariadne Angulo and Simon Stuart
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last three generations, inferred from observed shrinkage in population and anecdotal information on habitat destruction and/or degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Atelopus epikeisthos has been recorded only from the type locality of 7 km East of Chachapoyas, in the eastern Cordiillera Central of Departamento de Amazonas, northern Peru (Lötters et al. 2004). The type collection took place in a small ravine along the road from Chachapoyas to Molinopampa. The ravine stream flows into the Río Sonche, a tributary of the Río Utcubamba, which flows into the Río Marañón (Lötters et al. 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2010
Upper elevation limit (metres):2010
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is known only from the holotype collected in 1989. No animals were observed during a visit to the type locality in 2002 (Lötters et al. 2004).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The single collected specimen was found in a small remnant of humid montane forest with tree fern vegetation (Lötters et al. 2004). The specimen was collected walking on the floor (Lötters et al. 2004). It is not known if the species can persist in heavily disturbed forest. Although the breeding biology of this species is not known, it is presumed to undergo larval development within streams. The specimen was found along a permanent stream, and it is expected that A. epikeisthos is (at least seasonally) a riparian species, as are many other Atelopus in similar environments (S. Lötters, pers. comm.).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): By 2002, the remaining forest at the type locality had almost entirely been cleared through conversion of land to cattle pasture and corn fields (Lötters et al. 2004). It seems plausible that remaining populations of this species would be susceptible to the disease chytridiomycosis that has been implicated in the decline of several congeners.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no direct conservation measures in place for this species. Given the presumed rapid population decline, it appears that urgent conservation actions are needed. Further population surveys of the type locality and possibly suitable sites are needed to locate and monitor remnant populations (Lötters et al. 2004). The species is not known from any protected areas, but consideration should be given to protecting the remaining habitat at the type locality. General studies are additionally needed into the breeding biology and general ecology of this species.

Citation: Stefan Lötters. 2008. Atelopus epikeisthos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136162A4253102. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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