The Rio Pescado Stubfoot or Harlequin Toad, Atelopus balios, is a brightly colored bufonid frog endemic to slow-moving streams and moist forests of sub-tropical and tropical Ecuador. Considered extinct as a result of the widespread amphibian chytrid fungus that has decimated other amphibian populations including other Atelopus species, the Rio Pescado Stubfoot toad was rediscovered during an October 2010 expedition to Southwestern Ecuador sponsored by Conservation International, the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group and Global Wildlife Conservation. Atelopus balios is thought to be restricted to four small Pacific lowland regions in Ecuador, all of which are currently unprotected areas. The IUCN has identified this species as critically endangered and along with the Zoological Society of London recently declared it as one of the world’s 100 most endangered species. It is vulnerable to pollution, agricultural runoff, and habitat destruction.
(Coloma and Lötters 1996; Conservation International 2011; Cisneros-Heredia et al. 2004; Wikipedia 2013; Baillie and Butcher 2012)
- Coloma, L.A. and S. Lötters 1996. The Tadpole of Atelopus Balios (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Pacific Lowlands of Ecuador. Herpetologica 52(1) pp. 66-70 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3892957
- Conservation International News Release February 17, 2011. Global Search for “lost” frogs yields few findings, important warnings. Retrieved April 2 2013 from http://www.conservation.org/newsroom/pressreleases/Pages/Global-Search-Lost-Frogs-Findings.aspx
- Cisneros-Heredia, D., Yánez-Muñoz, M., Coloma, L.A. & Ron, S. 2004. Atelopus balios. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 21 July 2007.
- Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 March 2013. Atelopus balios. Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Atelopus_balios&oldid=544871235
- Baillie, J.E.M and E.R. Butcher (2012). Priceless or Worthless? (PDF). Zoological Society of London. ISBN 978-0-900881-67-1. http://static.zsl.org/files/priceless-or-worthless-final-wq-2040-2050.pdf