This species is endemic to Colombia, and is known from four specimens collected at 2,300-2,320m asl in the Municipio de Urrao, vereda La Clara, quebrada Cañahonda, and from from quebrada La Penca, very nearby. Both localities are on the western flank of the Cordillera Occidental in western Antioquia Department, Colombia. It is unlikely to occur more widely due to the presence of a sister species, Eleutherodactylus bellona, in adjacent regions.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is known from patches of primary forest, and is closely associated with streams. It is suspected to be intolerant of habitat disturbance. Breeding is presumed to take place by direct development.
There is no information on the current population status of this species.
No information is currently available on threats, but the presence of armed groups in the area is probably providing additional protection for the species. Nonetheless, its small range renders it susceptible to stochastic threatening processes.
The Permanent Commision on National Parks (of the Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales) has recommended to the Colombian Government that the Parque Nacional Natural Las Orquideas be expanded in size so as to incorporate the Paramo de Frontino, down to a lower altitudinal limit of 2,400m asl. If the government approves the enlargement, Eleutherodactylus polemistes will benefit by the inclusion of its localities within the expanded park. This species is in need of close population monitoring given its small range.
John Lynch 2006. Pristimantis polemistes. In: IUCN 2014