Before 2011, no living populations of Atretochoana eiselti were known and there were just 2 known preserved specimens:
Despite the lack of locality data, the species was presumed to be from Brazil. But biologists have now confirmed the discovery of several of the creatures in the Madeira River in Brazil, found when engineers drained a hydroelectric dam in 2011.
Given the lack of data about the distribution, ecology and abundance of Atretochoana eiselti, its conservation status cannot be determined. It is categorised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Data Deficient.
It seems likely that A. eiselti is not very common and that it does not have a very broad distribution.