Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus onorei
Species Authority: Coloma, Lötters, Duellman & Miranda-Leiva, 2007
Taxonomic Notes: Atelopus onorei can be distinguished from other similar species by its colour patterns (Coloma et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) A2ace; B2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Luis A. Coloma
Reviewer(s): Ariadne Angulo and Simon Stuart
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) 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, perhaps due to climate change and chytridiomycosis.
Date last seen: 1990

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Atelopus onorei is only known from near Río Chipla (2 47' 24" S, 79 21' 36" W, ca. 2,500 m asl), 10–15 Km E Luz María, and a nearby creek, in the Azuay Basin of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador, Azuay Province, Ecuador (Coloma et al. 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland))
Lower elevation limit (metres):2500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Although this species was previously abundant at the type locality, no individuals have been found after 1990, despite at least four occasional search efforts to locate the species at the same site as before and surroundings (Coloma et al. 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species inhabits humid cloud montane forest on the Pacific versant of the Cordillera Occidental. Individuals were found close to running water, and were active during the day, with numerous pairs found in amplexus. A female was found to contain 133 ovarian eggs ca 2.14 mm in diameter. The species occurs in sympatry with A. nanay at one of the localities (Coloma et al. 2007). The species requires a permanent source of water (L. Coloma pers. comm. 2008).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The area of occurrence of Atelopus onorei is close is to areas where climate abnormalities have occurred and Atelopus and Telmatobius extinctions have been reported. They are also close to areas where the chytrid fungus has occurred, or its presence is predicted. Given this scenario and considering the overwhelming evidence that Atelopus has been affected by these two key factors in the highlands, it is likely that A. onorei may be extinct, although the possibility of existing relictual populations may not be overlooked (Coloma et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not known to occur in any protected areas in Ecuador.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.5. Other impacts
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Coloma, L.A. (ed). 2005-2008. Anfibios de Ecuador. [online]. Ver. 2.0 (29 October 2005). Quito Available at: (Accessed: 16 May).

Coloma, L.A., Lötters, S., Duellman, W.E., and Miranda-Leiva, A. 2007. A taxonomic revision of Atelopus pachydermus, and description of two new (extinct?) species of Atelopus from Ecuador (Anura: Bufonidae). Zootaxa 1557: 1-32.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Ron, S.R., Guayasamin, J.M., Coloma, L.A., and Menéndez-Guerrero, P. 2008. Lista Roja de los Anfibios de Ecuador. [online]. Ver. 1.0 (2 May 2008). Quito, Ecuador Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2008).

Citation: Luis A. Coloma. 2008. Atelopus onorei. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136173A4254841. . Downloaded on 08 October 2015.
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