Distribution and conservation

Distribution

Before 2011, no living populations of Atretochoana eiselti were known and there were just 2 known preserved specimens:

  1. The type specimen is in the collection of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. The only locality data for this specimen is 'South America' and information on how it came into the collection is lacking. 
  2. The second specimen is in the collections of the Universidade de Brasilia and also lacks any associated data. 

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.

Conservation

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.