This species is restricted to the Massif de la Selle in Haiti, and Sierra de Bahoruco in the Dominican Republic, Hispaniola. It has been recorded from 1,182-2,303 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species found in upland pine forest, preferring sheltered sites, and calling from the ground. It does not tolerate disturbance of its habitat. The eggs are laid on the ground, and it breeds by direct development.
For unknown reasons, it has been rarely encountered in the Dominican Republic in the last two decades, despite surviving in intact forest, which suggests that it might either be a rare species or one in rapid decline. It was last recorded in 2007 (Hedges and Díaz 2009).
The primary threat is severe habitat destruction as a result of logging by local people (charcoaling) and slash-and-burn agriculture.
The species occurs in the Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco in the Dominican Republic, but this area is not well-managed, and habitat degradation is ongoing. Improved management of existing protected areas and maintenance of remaining habitat are essential.
Schwartz and Henderson (1991) considered some populations of this species to refer to Eleutherodactylus darlingtoni, but Hedges (1992) redefined the range, and this definition is used here.
Blair Hedges, Sixto Inchaustegui, Robert Powell 2010. Eleutherodactylus leoncei. In: IUCN 2014