Atelopus guanujo 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus guanujo Coloma, 2002
Common Name(s):
Spanish Puca Sapo
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).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2016-07-16
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Neam, K.
Contributor(s): Almendáriz, A., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Reyes, J.P., Coloma, L.A., Bustamante, M.R. & Ron, S.R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) as the species was apparently common in the past, but has not been recorded since 1988 and subsequent surveys have not found the species. While there is no direct information available, it is suspected that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis may be implicated in the declines observed in this species and that the number of mature extant individuals might be fewer than 50.
Date last seen: 1988
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from two localities (Gallo Rumi and Guanujo) in the Chimbo Basin of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador, in the province of Bolívar. These localities are between 2,600 and 2,923 m asl in the upper Río Chimbo Valley (Coloma 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2600
Upper elevation limit (metres):2923
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species was apparently abundant within its narrow distributional range at two localities in the upper Rio Chimbo valley (Ron et al. 2011), but the most recent record dates from April 1988 (Coloma 2002). Since then, survey efforts have been unsuccessful in finding any individuals, suggesting a serious population decline and possible extinction. It is reasonable to infer, therefore, that the population size may now have fewer than 50 individuals and that, due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat, the remaining population is decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:0-49
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is an inhabitant of humid cloud forest. Frogs have also been collected in disturbed montane cloud forest areas (Coloma 2002). There is no specific information on breeding habits, but it is likely to be similar to other Atelopus species, with breeding and larval development taking place in streams.
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 main threat to this species is habitat loss due to agriculture (crops, livestock, and wood plantations), logging, and infrastructure development for human settlement. Habitat degradation has been severe with only 19.8% of the natural vegetation being unaltered at the type locality (Ron et al. 2011). Invasive species such as dogs, cats, and chickens also prey on this species. Its population overlaps with Gastrotheca pseustes, which is infected with Pseudosonsinotrema megalorchis, that could be another possible cause for the decline (Flowers et al. 2011).

While there is currently no direct information confirming that chytrid has caused declines in this species, the lack of records since the 1988 is consistent with the pattern of decline in many other montane Atelopus species, and it is therefore reasonable to infer that the disease might be the cause of past declines in this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
The known range of the species does not include any protected areas. 

Conservation Needed
There is an urgent need for improved habitat protection at its only known localities. In light of the threat of chytridiomycosis, it may be advisable to establish an ex situ breeding program should any further individuals be located. 

Research Needed
Surveys are needed to establish whether or not this species still persists in the wild.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Atelopus guanujo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54515A98641500. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided