Atelopus planispina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus planispina Jiménez de la Espada, 1875
Common Name(s):
English Flat-spined Atelopus
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: The taxonomic status of A. planispina and A. palmatus was discussed by Coloma (1997). Records of A. palmatus from Napo Province actually belong to this species (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) 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): Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., La Marca, E., Coloma, L.A., Yánez-Muñoz, M., Bustamante, M.R., Ron, S.R. & Lötters, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Acosta, A.N., NatureServe
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because, despite surveys in the area of this species' distribution, it has not been seen since 1985. As such, it is presumed that the species suffered severe declines more than 10 years or three generations ago possibly due to the spread of the chytrid fungus. It is therefore considered to be Possibly Extinct and its population is inferred to be less than 50 mature individuals.
Date last seen: 1985
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes, in Napo province. Records from the Azuay and Morona Santiago provinces that were previously assigned to this species actually correspond to other species (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016). It has been recorded from 1,000–2,000 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In a previous assessment, it was found that the population of this species had declined dramatically. The last record of this species is from July 1985 (an amplectant pair), despite repeated visits to known (El Reventador) or inferred localities (within its extent of occurrence) (Bustamante 2002). If a population still exists, it is suspected that the population size is less than 50 mature individuals (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016).
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 montane forest. There is no specific information known about breeding, 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): In the past the species suffered a large population reduction probably due to chytridiomycosis. At present, habitat loss due to agriculture (both crops and livestock), logging, mining, and infrastructure development for human settlement, as well as agricultural pollution, are major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
Its distribution range overlaps with Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras, Reserva Ecológica Antisana, and Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca. 

Conservation Needed
Any surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex situ population.

Research Needed
Surveys are needed to establish whether or not this species is still extant.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Atelopus planispina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54543A98642698. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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