This species occurs in south-western Colombia (in Cauca and Narino Departments) and north-western Ecuador (in Pichincha, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, and Los Rios Provinces). It occurs from sea level up to 1,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in lowland and submontane rainforest and can survive in moderately degraded areas, at least in the more humid parts of its range. The eggs are laid on the ground, and the larvae are transported to bromeliads by the female.
It is very common in Colombia but has disappeared from most of its range in Ecuador, only still surviving in the north of its range in that country.
The major threats are deforestation for agricultural development, cultivation of illegal crops, logging, mining and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. It is sometimes recorded in the international pet trade.
It occurs in several protected areas in Colombia. In Ecuador, its range overlaps the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and Parque Nacional Mache-Chindul. Management practices that could allow a commercial, sustainable harvest of this species should be investigated. Decree INDERENA No. 39 of 9 July, 1985, forbids the collection of Dendrobates spp. from the wild for breeding (or other) purposes.
It is possible that this is a complex of several species (Lötters et al. 1999), with true O. sylvatica occurring in Ecuador.
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Taran Grant, Stefan Lötters 2004. Oophaga sylvatica. In: IUCN 2014