Atelopus lynchi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus lynchi Cannatella, 1981
Common Name(s):
Spanish Jambato de Lynch
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: Rivero and Serna (1993 "1991") doubted that specimens from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, were correctly assigned to this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) B2ab(iii); 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): Rueda-Almonacid, J.V., Renjifo, J., Reyes, J.P., Coloma, L.A., Yánez-Muñoz, M., Bustamante, M.R., Ron, S.R., Lötters, S. & Bolívar, W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because, despite repeated surveys in the area of distribution the species has not been seen since 1984. 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. In addition, its area of occupancy (AOO) is 4 km2, it occurs in a single threat-defined location, and there is a continuing decline in the lowland and montane forest habitat of its type locality in northern Ecuador due to agricultural activities, logging and pollution.
Date last seen: 1984
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Pacific slopes of northern Ecuador, where it is only known from the type locality in Maldonado, Province of Carchi, at 1,410 m asl (Lynch 1974). It has been cited for the Nariño Department in Colombia (Sánchez-Pacheco 2005), but this record is uncertain. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 4 km2 (using a 2 x 2 km grid cell) and it occurs in one threat-defined location.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1410
Upper elevation limit (metres):1410
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no data on population size and trends for this species. Despite surveys in the area of distribution, it has not been recorded since 1984 (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016). If a population still exists it is thought to have less than 50 individuals. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be 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 lives on the border between lowland and montane rainforests. It is terrestrial, and presumably breeds in streams. There is continuing decline in the quality of this species' habitat due mainly to agricultural activities, logging and pollution (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016).
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 threats to this species include deforestation for agricultural development (including illegal crops), logging, and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the fumigation of illegal crops (Ecuador Red List Assessment Workshop July 2016). While there is currently no direct information confirming that chytrid has caused declines in this species, the lack of records since the 1984 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 related to the past population decline in this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is not known from any protected areas. 

Conservation Needed
There is an urgent need for improved habitat protection at its only known locality. A captive-breeding programme might be required should any further individuals be found.

Research Needed
Further survey work is necessary to determine whether the species is still extant and if it occurs outside the vicinity of the type locality. Further research is needed to resolve the taxonomy of the specimen reported from Colombia.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:No
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.3. Herbicides and pesticides
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Acosta-Galvis, A.R. 2000. Ranas, Salamandras y Caecilias (Tetrapoda: Amphibia) de Colombia. Biota Colombiana 1(3): 289-319.

Cannatella, D.C. 1981. A new Atelopus from Ecuador and Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 15(2): 133-138.

Coloma, L. A., Frenkel, C., Félix-Novoa, C. and Quiguango-Ubillús, A. 2010. Atelopus lynchi. Available at: (Accessed: 07-13-2016).

IUCN. 2018. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-1. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2018).

La Marca, E., Lips, K.R., Lötters, S., Puschendorf, R., Ibáñez, R., Rueda-Almonacid, J.V., Schulte, R., Marty, C., Castro, F., Manzanilla-Puppo, J., Garcia-Perez, J.E., Toral, E., Bolaños, F., Chaves, G., Pounds, J.A. and Young, B. 2005. Catastrophic population declines and extinctions in Neotropical harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus). Biotropica 37(2): 190-201.

Lötters, S. 1996. The Neotropical Toad Genus Atelopus. Checklist - Biology - Distribution. Vences, M. and Glaw, F. Verlags GbR, Köln, Germany.

Lynch, J.D. and Suárez-Mayorga, A.M. 2004. Catálogo de anfibios en el Chocó Biogeográfico. In: J.O. Rangel (ed.), Colombia Diversidad Biótica IV, El Chocó Biogeográfico/Costa Pacífica. Volumen I, pp. 633-668. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Conservación Internacional, Bogotá, Colombia.

Merino-Viteri, A. 2001. Análisis de posibles causas de las disminuciones de poblaciones de anfibios en los Andes del Ecuador. Tesis de Licenciatura. Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.

Pounds, J.A., Bustamante, M.R., Coloma, L.A., Consuegra, J.A., Fogden, M.P.L., Foster, P.N., La Marca, E., Masters, K.L., Merino-Viteri, A., Puschendorf, R., Ron, S.R., Sánchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Still, C.J. and Young, B.E. 2006. Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming. Nature 439: 161-167.

Rivero, J.A. and Morales, V.R. 1995. Description of a new species of Atelopus from Departamento del Cauca, Colombia. Brenesia 38: 29-36.

Rivero, J.A. and Serna, M.A. 1993. A new species of Atelopus (Amphibia, Bufonidae) from Antioquia, Colombia. Brenesia 36: 15-20.

Ruiz-Carranza, P.M., Ardila-Robayo, M.C. and Lynch, J.D. 1996. Lista actualizada de la fauna de Amphibia de Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales 20(77): 365-415.

Sánchez-Pacheco, S.J. 2005. Atelopus lynchi. In: Rueda Almonacid, J.V., J.V. Rodríguez Mahecha, E. LaMarca, S. Lötters, T. Kahn, A. Angulo (ed.), Ranas Arlequines, pp. 85. Conservation International, Bogota.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2018. Atelopus lynchi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T54524A56601724. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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