Rio Pescado stubfoot toad

The stubfoot toads — or harlequin toads as they are sometimes referred — have been particularly hard hit by amphibian declines and extinctions, with only a handful of species clinging on to survival. The Rio Pascado stubfoot toad population has dropped dramatically in recent years; scientists have estimated a decline of more than 80 percent over the last three generations.

The species’ decline is likely a result of the chytrid fungal disease. However, the low altitude of the species’ range provides a glimmer of hope that the species may persist; the disease normally occurs at higher altitudes in the tropics. Habitat degradation and loss — due to agriculture and logging — and pollution also continue to be very serious threats.

The known range of the species is outside of any protected area, and if it survives, urgent conservation action will be necessary to stem the destruction of its habitat.

Rio Pescado stubfoot toad
Population size:
Azuay, Cañar and Guyas provinces, south-western Ecuador
Chytridiomycosis and habitat destruction due to logging and
agricultural expansion
Action required:
Protection of last remaining habitat

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