Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus exiguus
Species Authority: Boettger, 1892
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: This species was removed from the synonymy of Atelopus ignescens by McDiarmid (1971).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A3ce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-11-10
Assessor(s): Eduardo Toral, Manuel Morales, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Martín R. Bustamante
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a projected population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the next ten years, inferred from declines in other high altitude Atelopus species in the same region, probably due to chytridiomycosis.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the type locality, Laguna Llaviuco, in Azuay province, and from the nearby vicinity in the Cordillera Occidental of southern Ecuador. It is known from eight localities, and has been recorded from 3,150-3,850m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 3150
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3850
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This historically abundant species was recorded in May 1995, at a time when no decline was recorded (Coloma, Lötters and Salas 2000). Since then, there had been little survey work, but it is expected that the species has undergone a population decline across its range, although it is still known to survive in the wild (La Marca et al. 2005). More recently, Moore (2007) reported two individuals found in southern Ecuador.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is an inhabitant of sub-páramo and páramo, but is also known to occur in pastureland around the Laguna Llaviuco. Breeding and larval development take place in streams.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The most serious risk to this species is chytridiomycosis, which has had a devastating impact on other high-altitude species of Atelopus. Agriculture, both crops and livestock, as well as climate change and the construction of dams are major threats to the species’ habitat. Invasive trout species might prey on tadpoles of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of this species includes Parque Nacional Cajas and Parque Nacional Mazán. The population status of this species urgently needs to be assessed. Ex-situ conservation measures are already in place for this species, as the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Ecuador is seeking to establish a captive breeding colony at its climate-controlled captive facility (Moore 2007). It is also necessary to control trout populations within the protected areas.

Citation: Eduardo Toral, Manuel Morales, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Martín R. Bustamante. 2010. Atelopus exiguus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T54508A11154223. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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