Atelopus orcesi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus orcesi Coloma, Duellman, Almendáriz, Ron, Terán-Valdez & Guayasamin, 2010
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) B2ab(iii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2016-07-17
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Neam, K.
Contributor(s): Yánez-Muñoz, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Jarvis, L., NatureServe

Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) as it is known only from the type locality and has not been recorded since 1988 despite recent surveys. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 4 km2, it is only known from a single location, and there is a continuing decline in its montane forest habitat in northern Ecuador due to encroaching agriculture, agricultural pollution, livestock farming and human habitation. If a population still exists, it is suspected to be less than 50 mature individuals.

Date last seen: 1988
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from the type locality, La Alegría-Sibundoy, at 2,400 m asl, in the eastern versant of the Cordillera Oriental in Provincia Sucumbíos, Ecuador (Coloma et al. 2010). Searches in the surroundings of the type locality at suitable elevations have not been able to locate this species (Coloma et al. 2010). The area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 4 km2 (using a grid cell of 2 x 2 km) and occurs in one location, based on the main threats affecting the species.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is known only from the type series, collected in 1988 and comprised of two specimens. The population probably declined dramatically in the past because of climate change and the impact of pathogens (Coloma et al. 2010). One intensive 40 person/hour survey conducted in 2009 at the type locality and nearby areas with suitable elevations yielded no new records (Coloma et al. 2010). Although it is difficult to infer this species' historical relative abundance based on the type series, given patterns observed in other congeners in montane areas and the results from the recent survey it is possible that this species may have experienced a population decline. If a population still exists it is thought to have less than 50 individuals. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:0-49

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in montane cloud forest (Coloma et al. 2010). There is no information on this species' ecology, although based on congener ecology it is expected to breed by larval development. There is continuing decline in the quality of this species' habitat due to encroaching agriculture, agricultural pollution, livestock farming and human habitation.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The habitat occupied by this species has been extensively deforested and replaced by intensive crop agriculture and livestock. The indiscriminate use of pesticides and urban growth are also other threats (Coloma and Duellman 2012). In addition, chytrid fungus has been found in a neighbouring area and climate change and other pathogens are suspected as possible threat factors (Coloma et al. 2010, Coloma and Duellman 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It is not known to occur in any protected areas. 

Conservation Needed
In situ conservation is urgently needed to preserve the last species' habitat remnants. 

Research Needed
Further surveys of its type locality and surrounding areas in northern Ecuador are urgently required to determine if this species is still extant.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Atelopus orcesi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T18435530A56602182. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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