This species is known from the cordilleras of Costa Rica and western Panama (300-1,450 m asl). In Costa Rica, the species occurs on the Atlantic versant at 656-1,740 m asl and on the Pacific slope at 880-1,600 m asl (Savage 2002).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits humid lowland and montane forest. Adults are usually found in the proximity of streams. During the day, individuals hide in vegetation, especially in leaf axils of epiphytes and terrestrial aroids. At night, moderately dense congregations have been found along small, fast-flowing streams. Males call from dense vegetation several metres away from the streams, from 0.5-3.0 m above ground. Larvae develop in quiet pools, but sometimes adhere to large rocks in the stream bottom when the streams rise following heavy rains (Savage 2002).
It was a historically common species. As of 2002, however, the species had experienced a significant decline across its Costa Rican range. By 2007 a new subpopulation was found in Tuis de Turrialba, Costa Rica (B. Kubicki pers. comm.). By 2013, the Costa Rican subpopulations were rebounding somewhat, although the species was still not considered common in any of the known sites. Extant populations are known at Monteverde (possibly no more than 100 adults), Tuis (at most 10 adults), and Fila Matama on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Talamanca (at most 10 adults) in Costa Rica (G. Chaves pers. comm March 2013). In Panama, tadpoles and two adults were found in 2008-2009 in the Reserva Forestal La Fortuna (Hertz et al. 2012). These numbers suggest a total adult population of fewer than 150 individuals in 2013.
Museum specimens have been found to be infected with the chytrid fungus, which may have contributed to the earlier decline. Habitat loss due to smallholder farming activities is mostly a historical threat to this species (B. Young pers. comm. March 2013).
Although there are no specific conservation measures in place, this species has been recorded from at least three protected areas in Panama, and more than three protected areas in Costa Rica. Further survey work is required to monitor the population status and trends of this species, and to ascertain clearly whether or not chytrid poses a threat.
NatureServe & IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Duellmanohyla uranochroa. In: IUCN 2014