Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This Andean species ranges along the western flank of the Cordillera Occidental from La Planada in the department of Nariño in extreme southern Colombia, south to Cotopaxi Province in Ecuador. Its altitudinal range is 1,140-3,000m asl. It might occur a little more widely.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits primary and secondary forest, and does not occur in open areas. It is arboreal in bushes and trees, and is associated with epiphytes in high vegetation. It is especially abundant along trails through cloud forest, particularly in the proximity of small streams. It breeds by direct development, and the eggs are deposited in leaf-litter.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Associations

Associates in the Northwestern Andean montane forests

Tthe spurred robber frog (Pristimantis calcarulatus) is an anuran of limited distribution found from La Planada in the department of Nariño in extreme southern part of Colombia, ranging southward to Cotopaxi Province in Ecuador. Its elevational range is 1140 to 3000 meters. This frog is endemic to the Northwestern Andean montane forests ecoregion. The disjunct formation of Andean topography and pronounced glacial period of isolation forced plant and animal communities to adapt to different areas after being disconnected from each other; therefore laying the perfect foundation for speciation. For a gamut of reasons, related to their complex topography and a biogeographical history, featuring continual altitudinal migration of vegetation zones in response to the prehistorically changing climate, these ecosystems present a diverse array of distinctive biological communities, characterized by unusually high levels of species endemism.

Within the Northwestern Andean montane forests ecoregion, flowering plant species manifest extreme biodiversity, and as many as 300 distinct plant taxa can be found inside a single hectare of the forest. At least 1178 vertebrate species have been recorded in the Northwestern Andean montane forests.

The ecoregion hosts a remarkable 86 taxa of palm trees, including two endemics: the feather palm and the endangered wax palm. There are numerous other notable species of the ecoregion including scores of endemic amphibians of the genus Pristimantis , many endemic treefrogs and a number of endemic amphibians of the genus Atelopus; moreover, other noteworthy vertebrate residents of these forests are the sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) and the Andean tapir (Tapirus pinchaque).

There are numerous amphibian endemics in the Northwestern Andean montane forests especially in the genera Atelopus and Pristimantis, although each of these does not overlap the range of S. calamitus. These amphibian endemics to the Northwestern Andean montane forests include: the Critically Endangered Antado stubfoot toad (Atelopus galactogaster), the Critically Endangered Pirri Range stubfoot toad (Atelopus glyphus), the Critically Endangered Rio Carauta stubfoot toad (Atelopus carauta), the Rio Faisanes stubfoot toad (Atelopus coynei), the Burrowes robber frog (Pristimantis laticlavius), the San Antionio robber frog (Pristimantis calcaratus), the cacao robber frog (Pristimantis cacao), the Urrao Cochran frog (Pristimantis johannesdei), the Rio Calima robber frog (Pristimantis diaphonus) the cachabi robber frog (Pristimantis achatinus), the Mantipus robber frog (Hypodactylus mantipus), the ocellated robber frog (Pristimantis  ocellatus), the channel robber frog (Pristimantis sulculus), the Maldonado robber frog (Pristimantis  loustes),  the chiriboga robber frog (Pristimantis eremitus), the Ricuarte robber frog (Pristimantis scolodiscus), Duellman's robber frog (Pristimantis duellmani), the Pacific robber frog (Pristimantis appendiculatus), the cerro munchique robber frog (Pristimantis viridicans), the Jaime's robber frog (Pristimantis jaimei), the Palmer's robber frog (Pristimantis palmeri), the La Planada robber frog (Pristimantis apiculatus), the dwarf robber frog (Pristimantis hectus), the Porvenir robber frog (Pristimantis crucifer), the Rio Calles robber frog (Strabomantis cheiroplethus), the Tandapi robber frog (Pristimantis nyctophylax), the Zapadores robber frog (Pristimantis quinquagesimus), the white-striped robber frog (Pristimantis luteolateralis),  the reserve robber frog (Pristimantis siopelus), the sharpsnout robber frog (Pristimantis acutirostris), the Valle robber frog (Pristimantis cabrerai), the Sobetes robber frog (Pristimantis sobetes), and the Uribe robber frog (Pristimantis molybrignus). Further Pristimantis genus endemics here that lack a common name are: Pristimantis aemulatus, Pristimantis albericoi, Pristimantis baiotis, Pristimantis capitonis, Pristimantis angustilineatus, Pristimantis aurantiguttatus, Cochranella cristinae, Pristimantis chrysops, Pristimantis deinops, Pristimantis diogenes, Pristimantis dissimulatus, Pristimantis eugeniae, Pristimantis illotus, Pristimantis juanchoi, Pristimantis kelephas, Pristimantis mars, Pristimantis myops, Pristimantis orpacobates, Pristimantis phalarus, Pristimantis platychilus, Pristimantis polychrus, Pristimantis pteridophilus, Pristimantis ptochus, Pristimantis quantus, Pristimantis restrepoi, Pristimantis ruedai, Pristimantis sanguineus, Pristimantis signifer, Pristimantis silverstonei, Pristimantis viridis, Pristimantis xylochobates.

Other amphibian endemics in this ecoregion are the Critically Endangered carchi Andes toad (Andinophryne colomai), the cauca caecilian (Caecilia occidentalis), the endangered cerro munchique marsupial frog (Gastrotheca trachyceps), the Vulnerable Rio Calima marsupial frog (Gastrotheca dendronastes), Lynch's cochran frog (Nymphargus ignota), the Near Threatened Urrao cochran frog (Cochranella megistra), the Mesopotamia beaked toad (Rhinella rostrata), the Santa Rita beaked toad (Rhinella macrorhina), the cotopaxi rocket frog (Colostethus fallax), the stripe throated rocket frog (Colostethus brachistriatus), the Lehmann's rocket frog (hyloxalus lehmanni), the Urrao rocket frog (Hyloxalus breviquartus), the executioner treefrog (Dendropsophus carnifex), Pacific lowland treefrog (Dendropsophus gryllatus), the western Andes treefrog (Hyla sarampiona), the Simmons treefrog (Hyloscirtus simmonsi), the Pilalo treefrog (Hyloscirtus ptychodactyla), the finca primavera rocket frog (Colostethus alacris), the Gunther's marsupial frog (Gastrotheca guentheri), the Vulnerable Tandapi giant glass frog (Centrolene peristictum), the Tandayapa Andes toad (Andinophryne ollalai), the western Andes toad (Andinophryne atelopoides), the Tandayapa giant glass frog (Centrolene scirtetes), the Critically Endangered Atelopis famelicus, the Critically Endangered Atelopis chocoensis, Anomaloglossus atopoglossus, Hyloxalus betancuri, Colostethus furviventris, Colostethus maquipucuna, Colostethus yaguara, the Vulnerable Gastrotheca antomia, Cochranella luminosa, Cochranella luteopunctata and Cochranella armata.

Endemic reptiles of the ecoregion include the Antiodlula anole (Anolis antioquiae), the O'shaughnessy's Anole (Anolis gemmosus), the saphenophis snake (Saphenophis sneiderni), the striped saphenophis snake (Saphenophis tristriatus), the Atahuallpa saphenophis snake (Saphenophis atahuallpa), the Bolivian whorltail iguana (Stenocercus bolivarensis), the Colombian blind snake (Anomolepis colombius), the equatorial anole (Anolis aequatorialis), the garagoa caecilian (Caecilia degenerata), Haensch's whorltail iguana (Stenocercus haenschi), hispanic ground snake (Atractus oculotemporalis), the western ground snake (Atractus occidentalis), the three striped tropical snake (Lygophis tristiatus), the tropical lightbulb lizard (Proctoporus oculatus), the grand scaly-eyed gecko (Lepidoblepharis grandis), Bothrocophias colombianus, Bothrops xanthogrammus, Bothrocophias campbelliSaphenophis boursieri, Proctoporus labionis, Riama vespertina, Synophis calamitus and Anolis megalopithecus.

Endemic birds of the Northwest Andean montane forests include the Critically Endangered colorful puffleg (Eriocnemis mirabilis),, the empress brilliant (Heliodoxa imperatrix), the Near Threatened fulvus treerunner bird (Margaromis stellatus), the black solitaire (Entomodestes corocinus), the gorgeted sunangel (Heliangelus strophianus), grand scaly-eyed gecko (Lepidoblepharis grandis), the grayish picolet (Picumnus granadensis), the orange-banded flycatcher (Myiophobus lintoni), the Near Threatened hoary puffleg (Haplophaedia lugens), the Critically Endangered turquoise-throated puffleg (Eriocnemis godini), Pacific tuftedcheek (Pseudocolaptes johnsoni), the Critically Endangered pale-headed brush-finch (Atlapetes pallidiceps), the Near Threatened plate-billed mountain-toucan (Andigena laminirostris), the purple-billed whitetip (Urosticte benjamini), the violet-tailed sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis) and the endangered violet-throated metaltail (Metallura baroni) Endemic mammals of the ecoregion are represented by Sturnira mistratensis.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Fernando Castro, Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, Diego Cisneros-Heredia

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in Colombian and Ecuadorian Andes.
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Population

Population
It is a very common species.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threats are likely to be deforestation for agricultural development (including plantations, and the planting of illegal crops), logging, and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. Some other species of Eleutherodactylus that are associated with streams at high elevations have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances, possibly due to chytridiomycosis, so the status of this species should be monitored carefully.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas. In Colombia it occurs in the La Planda private reserve.
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