This species' historical range included the Meseta Central, Oriental and Occidental, on the Pacific slopes of the volcanoes Poás and Barva, on the Atlantic slopes of the volcanoes Irazú, Turrialba, and on the slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica, at elevations of 1,050-2,286 m asl. More recently (2010), it has been found only at the headwaters of the Rio Ciruelas (M. Ryan pers. comm. 2010).
Habitat and Ecology
It is a nocturnal species that has been found along streams in premontane and lower montane wet forest at both pristine and moderately disturbed sites. It reproduces in stream margins by direct development.
It was not seen between 1987-2009 despite extensive searches in a number of sites from which it was formerly known (F. Bolaños and G. Chaves pers. comms. 2010). The species was rediscovered on 2 March 2010 when a single adult was recorded from the headwaters of the Rio Ciruelas (M. Ryan pers. comm. 2010). There have been no additional confirmed observations since, in spite of regular visits to various parts of its range (A. Garcia Rodríguez pers. comm. March 2013).
The exact cause of the late 21st century declines is still unknown. Chytrid fungus has been confirmed from within this species' range (Puschendorf
The historical range includes Parque Nacional Tapantí as well as other protected areas. It is a high priority to conduct surveys to relocate populations of this species (especially within the Cordillera de Talamanca) and determine the extent to which it survives in the wild, in addition to determining presence and impact of chytrid fungus. In view of the potential threat of chytridiomycosis, surviving individuals might need to form the basis for the establishment of an ex situ population.
This species was previously included in the genus Eleutherodactylus (Crawford and Smith 2005).
NatureServe & IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Craugastor fleischmanni. In: IUCN 2014