Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Telmatobiidae

Scientific Name: Telmatobius vellardi
Species Authority: Munsterman & Leviton, 1959
Common Name(s):
English Vellard's Water Frog
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) A2ace; B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-11-27
Assessor(s): Andrés Merino-Viteri, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron
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 ten years, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population, and because its Area of Occupancy is probably less than 10km2, all individuals are in a single sub-population, and its Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy, the extent of its habitat, number of subpopulations, and number of mature individuals are all declining.
Date last seen: 1987
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from six localities in the general vicinity of the Cajanuma Mountains, Cordillera Oriental, in Loja and Zamora Chinchipe Provinces, southern Ecuador. Its altitudinal range is 2,500-3,050 m asl. Its geographic range is approximately 132 km2 (Merino-Viteri et al. 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3050
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations of this species have declined seriously, and it was last recorded in July 1987, close to Centro Administrativo of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. It might possibly survive in the south-eastern páramos of Loja Province, but there are also concerns that it is already extinct.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in the vicinity of streams, rivers and irrigation ditches, in pastures, humid montane shrubland and humid montane forest. Adults can be found beneath stones and logs in or near streams (which is also where they breed). It is not known to what extent it can adapt to disturbed habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Telmatobius species in Ecuador have been impacted by disease (including chytridiomycosis, but also from another fungal disease, a nematode infection, and from morphological malformations). Climatic abnormalities might also be implicated, and are perhaps related to the incidence of disease outbreaks. In addition, habitat destruction and degradation is taking place due to agricultural development (crops and livestock ranching) and human settlement. Species in the genus are also commonly used for food.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Approximately 4.9% (6.5 km2) of its estimated geographic distribution is comprised within Parque Nacional Podocarpus (Merino-Viteri et al. 2005). Although protection and maintenance of existing habitat is clearly needed, the risk of disease means that it is a very high priority to conduct surveys to relocate this species and determine its current population status. Any surviving individuals should form the basis for the initiation of a captive-breeding programme.

Citation: Andrés Merino-Viteri, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron. 2010. Telmatobius vellardi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T57366A11615240. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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