This species is known only from páramo habitats near Laguna Toreadora, in the Cordillera Occidental, in Azuay Province, Ecuador (Coloma 2002) at around 4,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is an inhabitant of herbaceous páramo. Some specimens have been found active close to streams and springs in an area of many interconnected pools, while others have been found on land under rocks (Coloma 2002). There is no specific information available on their breeding habits, but they are likely to be similar to other Atelopus species, with breeding and larval development taking place in streams.
The current population status of this species is not known. It has not been recorded since July 1989, despite surveys within the range, suggesting a serious population decrease.
The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, leading to a catastrophic population decline as has occurred in many other montane species of Atelopus. Agriculture (both crops and livestock), as well as logging and infrastructure development for human settlement, are major threats to the species' habitat. Invasive alien species are also a problem.
The type locality of the species is within Parque Nacional Cajas. Further survey work is required to determine whether or not this species survives in the wild. Given the threat of chytridiomycosis, any surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex-situ population.
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Martín R. Bustamante, Stefan Lötters 2004. Atelopus nanay. In: IUCN 2014