This species occurs on the Atlantic slopes of south-eastern Costa Rica and north-western Panama at an altitude of 400-1,450 m asl. Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated at 4,014 km
Habitat and Ecology
This species can be found in the spray zone on rocks, boulders, and cliff faces in the middle of moderate-sized cascading streams in lowland moist forest, premontane and lower montane wet forest and rainforest. It does not occur in modified habitats. It presumably breeds by direct development.
It is a rare species in Costa Rica, being recorded very infrequently. The last record for Costa Rica was in 1984, but there have been few surveys in this region (G. Chaves pers. comm. 2013). The last attempt to locate the species in Costa Rica was in 2009, but it was unsuccessful (F. Bolaños pers. comm. August 2010). In Panama it is believed to have experienced past declines in the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, Chiriquí. Recent sampling efforts within its range in Panama have not produced any new observations of C. obesus (Hertz et al. 2012).
The main threat to this species is believed to be the disease chytridiomycosis, and it has already disappeared from one site where chytrid fungus was found.
It has been recorded from Parque Internacional La Amistad (Costa Rica and Panama) and two protected areas in Panama. Given indications of population declines in Panama, this species should be monitored. Further research is needed into the range and ecology of this species, as well as the impact of chytridiomycosis. In Costa Rica, the species is known only from two localities, which are outside of protected areas (G. Chaves pers. comm. 2013).
This species was previously included in the genus Eleutherodactylus (Crawford and Smith 2005). It was removed from synonymy of Craugastor punctariolus (Campbell and Savage 2000).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & NatureServe 2014. Craugastor obesus. In: IUCN 2014