This species occurs in the Cerro Cacao in the Cordillera de Guanacaste, Cordillera de Tilarán (1,200-1,600m asl), and on the northern (600-1,700m asl) and eastern (900-1,400m asl) slopes of Volcán Poas (Cordillera Central) in Costa Rica (Savage 2002).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits tropical premontane and lower montane forest. It is nocturnal, foraging along steep sloping banks of mountain streams (Savage 2002). A female has been observed to lay her clutch of eggs in a hole and then cover it with sand (Hayes 1985).
The species has disappeared from Monteverde where it was abundant until the 1980s. There was one sighting in the northern part of the Cordillera de Tilaran in 1994, but the site has not been resurveyed since (J.A. Pounds pers. comm.). Recent surveys in Cerro Cacao (2001) and the Cordillera Central where the species was previously recorded have not revealed any individuals (F. Bolaños and G. Chaves pers. comm.). As of August 2007, there had been no new reports despite surveys within the species range (Federico Bolaños pers. comm.).
Since this species has disappeared from apparently suitable habitats-and some parts of its original habitat remain pristine-the major threat to the species is likely to be chytridiomycosis (perhaps in synergy with climate change), which has lead to catastrophic population declines in many other amphibian species that are associated with high-elevation streams.
Much of the known range of this species is in protected areas. However, further surveys are urgently needed to relocate this species and determine its current population status; surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex-situ population.
This species was previously within the genus Eleutherodactylus (Crawford and Smith 2005).
Pounds, J., Bolaños, F. & Chaves, G. 2008. Craugastor angelicus. In: IUCN 2014