This species occurs in the southern part of the Colombian Andes in Cauca and Huila Departments, with a separate northern population (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) at the Páramo de las Papas, in the Department of Boyacá, in the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. Its altitudinal range is 2,500-4,700m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs on vegetation, mosses and in leaf-litter along streams in Andean forests and páramos. It has not been recorded from disturbed habitat. The tadpoles develop in streams.
The northern population had not been recorded since 1995, until its remarkable rediscovery in early May of 2006 in the highlands of Boyacá . The southern populations were last recorded in 1992, though there have not been any recent surveys.
The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, leading to a catastrophic population decline, as has occurred in many other montane species of Atelopus. Habitat loss caused by agricultural expansion (cattle ranching and the planting of illegal crops), as well as pollution from the fumigation of crops, and water source loss are all threats.
It occurs in the Parque Nacional Natural Puracé. Survey work has recently confirmed the persistence of the northern population, but additional surveys are needed to ascertain the population status of the southern population. Given the threat of chytridiomycosis, successful conservation measures will probably need to include the maintenance of any surviving individuals in captivity. Research is also needed to confirm the taxonomic status of the northern populations of the species.
The northernmost population of this species is sometimes regarded as a separate species (Atelopus marinkellei).
Alberto Cadena, Andrés Acosta-Galvis, Wilmar Bolívar, John Lynch 2004. Atelopus ebenoides. In: IUCN 2014