Rediscovery of an enigmatic and endangered Andean toad
The small and understudied toad genus Andinophryne (Bufonidae) is restricted to the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. Three species of Andinophryne have been described; until recently, all three species were only known from five or fewer adult individuals at the type localities.
This year (2014) it has been reported the rediscovery of Andinophryne olallai, an endangered species only known from a single specimen, collected in 1970. At the type locality, Tandayapa, Pichincha Province, numerous follow-up surveys after 1970 failed to record the species suggesting that the population is extinct.
The rediscovery of the so called Tandayapa Andean Toad took place in 2012 at Río Manduriacu, Imbabura Province, Ecuador. Two surveys suggest that a healthy population of A. olallai survives at the site, with observations of froglets, juveniles, and adults across numerous stream systems.
However, the extent of known occupancy of the population is small (less than one square km), and this population is surrounded by logging, mining, and hydroelectric developments that could compromise its future survival.
Photo credit: ©Santiago Ron | Locality: Mandiruacu Reserve, Imbabura, Ecuador (2013)