This species ranged from Imbabura to Chimborazo and Bolívar Provinces, in the Inter-Andean valleys and higher parts of the major Andean Cordilleras of Ecuador, at elevations of 2,800-4,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
An inhabitant of humid montane forest, humid sub-páramo (high-altitude bushland), and páramo (high-altitude grassland). This was a stream breeding species. Animals were recorded from disturbed habitats, including modified grasslands, in the Inter-Andean valleys and residential areas close to Quito.
There have been no records of this species in Ecuador since 1988, despite extensive searches. It was formerly abundant along streams, but now appears to be extinct.
It probably disappeared due to the synergistic effects of the disease chytridiomycosis-confirmed in this species-and climatic change (local warming and droughts). Habitat loss and the introduction of predatory non-native trout might also have contributed to some population declines, however these threats are unlikely to have caused the substantial decline of the species throughout its range.
The known range of this species overlapped with several protected areas, including: Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca; Reserva Ecológica Antisana; Parque Nacional Cotopaxi; Area Nacional de Recreación el Boliche; Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas; Parque Nacional Llanganates; and Reserva de Producción Faunística Chimborazo in Ecuador.
Coloma, Lötters and Salas (2000) redefined Atelopus ignescens and restricted the species to the north-central Andes of Ecuador. Populations in northern Ecuador (in Cachi Province), and adjacent southern Colombia (Narino Department), previously assigned to Atelopus ignescens are now considered to belong to an undescribed species.
Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Stefan Lötters, William Duellman, Martín R. Bustamante, Wilmar Bolívar, Enrique La Marca 2004. Atelopus ignescens. In: IUCN 2014