This species occurs on both slopes of the southern Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica and the Atlantic slope of immediately adjacent Panama, from 760-2,100m asl (Savage 2002).
Habitat and Ecology
Its habitat is premontane and lower montane rainforest. It is a diurnal terrestrial species that is largely fossorial, and has been excavated from leaf-litter along stream banks in August. Juveniles have been found on rocky stream margins throughout the year. This species is an explosive breeder, with reproduction taking place in ephemeral pools after heavy rain in late April to May; eggs are laid in the shallow pools (Savage 2002).
The species was once abundant in Costa Rica, but it has undergone marked declines since the 1980s. There is no information available on the population size or abundance of this species in Panama, but it is presumed to have declined.
The main cause of the population decline is likely to be chytridiomycosis. In addition, there is general habitat loss across the range due to agriculture and timber extraction.
The species is known to occur in Parque Internacional La Amistad, a transboundary protected area between Panama and Costa Rica. Given the threat of chytridiomycosis, the implementation of a disease management and captive-breeding programme is recommended.
Bolaños, F., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C. & Fuenmayor, Q. 2008. Incilius fastidiosus. In: IUCN 2014