This species is endemic to the Pacific slopes of northern Ecuador (Maldonado in the Province of Carchi), between 800 and 1,410m asl. Records of this species from the western slope of the Cordillera Occidental, Valle del Cauca Department, in Colombia refer to an unidentified, probably un-named species.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives on the border between lowland tropical rainforests and montane forests. It is terrestrial, presumably breeding in streams.
This species has disappeared from Ecuador, and there have been no records from this country since 1984.
The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, which has caused major declines in many other species of Atelopus. Additional threats include deforestation for agricultural development (including the planting of illegal crops), logging, and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the fumigation of illegal crops.
This species is not known from any protected areas. Survey work is urgently required to determine whether or not this species still persists, and, in view of the severe risk of chytridiomycosis, any surviving populations should immediately form part of an ex-situ management programme.
Rivero and Serna (1993 "1991") doubted that specimens from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, were correctly assigned to this species.
Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Martín R. Bustamante, Wilmar Bolívar, Stefan Lötters, Juan Manuel Renjifo, Jose Vicente Rueda 2004. Atelopus lynchi. In: IUCN 2014