This species occurs from the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of Honduras to northern and southwestern Nicaragua, at 100-1,640 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits lowland and sub-montane wet and moist forests, and is found along streams and small rivers; it can survive in degraded forest and secondary growth. It breeds by direct development and lays its eggs on land.
It was formerly common, but has declined, and seems to have disappeared above 900 m asl in Honduras, along with several other stream-dwelling Eleutherodactylus sensu lato species. Lowland populations survive, but, overall, the species is now relatively uncommon. An isolated population of this species was found on Cerro Guanacuare, Coluteca Department, in 2006 (M. Ryan pers. comm. February 2009).
The main threat is habitat loss and degradation due to agriculture, livestock, logging, human settlement, and fire (as well as the added risk of resulting water pollution), but these do not explain the extent of the decline witnessed at higher elevations. Some other species of Eleutherodactylus sensu lato that are associated with streams have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances at higher elevations, possibly due to chytridiomycosis, and so this might be a major threat to this species. Pollution, presumably due to the fumigation of crops, has also been suggested as one cause of the decline at high altitudes.
It occurs in several protected areas and Multiple Use Areas. Further research is necessary to investigate the reasons for the apparent decline in populations of this species, but habitat loss appears to be a significant factor.
Wilson, L.D., Köhler, G., Cruz, G. & Ryan, M. 2009. Craugastor laevissimus. In: IUCN 2014