A new population record and conservation assessment of the Santa Marta Poison Arrow Frog Colostethus ruthveni Kaplan, 1997 (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

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J.F.G. Maya
M. González
D.Z. Charry
F. Charry
A.A. Cepeda
S.A.B. Reina


Colombia possesses important amphibian species richness that is threatened by several factors. Here we report a new population of the Santa Marta Poison Arrow Frog Colostethus ruthveni, an endangered endemic species from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. During intensive surveys across Námaku Reserve, 22 C. ruthveni individuals (mean abundance 0.28 plus or minus 0.09 ind/km) were observed along creeks between 737 and 923m above sea level near downtown Minca. This record represents a new locality for the species, increasing the number of known sites and expanding its extent of occurrence. We suggest the reassessment of the conservation status of the species from EN B1ab(iii) to VU B1ab(iii), due to this and other recent findings. Currently, the species is present in three protected areas; this new record represents another reserve area where the species is distributed, ensuring the habitat and reducing some of its most important threats such as habitat loss and degradation from agricultural activities, logging, pollution and infrastructure development. This finding represents new critical information for the species and defines the need to understand the real status of its populations for future conservation strategies in the region.

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