Atelopus arthuri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Atelopus arthuri
Species Authority: Peters, 1973
Common Name(s):
English Arthur's Stubfoot Toad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ace; B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Martín R. Bustamante, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Mario Yánez-Muñoz
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last three generations, 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 10km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and in the number of mature individuals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from three localities on the Pacific versant of the Andes of Ecuador at an altitude of 2,200-3,000m asl. The type locality is 15km north of Pallatanga, in Chimborazo Province. The second and third localities are at Cashca Totoras and Las Guardias, respectively, in Bolivar Province.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is an extremely rare species and it has not been recorded since 1988, despite searches, particularly at Cashca Totoras (Bustamante 2002). This suggests that a serious decline has taken place.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits humid montane forest and sub-páramo. There is no specific information known about breeding habits, though it is likely to be similar to other Atelopus species, with breeding taking place in streams.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, leading to a catastrophic population decline, as has occurred in many other montane species of Atelopus. The disease has been confirmed in Gastrotheca pseustes in the same area. Other major threats include habitat loss due to agriculture, logging and infrastructure development for human settlement, and agricultural pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of the species does not encompass any protected areas. However, it was protected in Bosque Protector Cashca Totoras (in Bolívar Province), where it disappeared. The species might be extinct, and it might be too late for measures such as captive breeding; additional survey work is required to confirm the continued persistence of this species in the wild.

Citation: Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Martín R. Bustamante, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Mario Yánez-Muñoz 2004. Atelopus arthuri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 01 April 2015.
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