This species can be found at elevations of 1,410-2,710m asl, on the Pacific slopes of the western Andes in Ecuador, and in extreme southern Colombia, in Nariño Department, at elevations of 1,700-2,600m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in cloud forest in the humid temperate regime and humid subtropical regime. Most individuals have been found perched on leaves and branches at heights up to 2.5m above the ground, but one was found sitting amidst dead bamboo leaves on the ground (Lynch and Duellman 1997); they are sometimes found near streams. It is presumed to breed by direct development, though the site of egg deposition is not known. The ability of this species to adapt to modified habitats is unknown.
Locally common (for example, in Intag, Imbabura, Ecuador, in 2003), this species has disappeared from some localities where it was known to exist historically. For example, it was common when it was collected in the Quebrada Zapadores, Ecuador in the 1970s, but had disappeared by 1997 at this locality despite a lack of habitat disturbance.
Habitat loss caused by logging, agricultural development (livestock ranching and illegal crops), and human settlement is a major threat. Some other species of Eleutherodactylus that are associated with streams have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances, possibly due to chytridiomycosis, so the status of this species should be monitored carefully.
In Colombia most of the populations are inside La Planada Natural Reserve. In Ecuador, its range overlaps with Reserva Ecológica El Angel, Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas, and Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas.
Fernando Castro, Maria Isabel Herrera, Santiago Ron, Luis A. Coloma, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, John Lynch, Diego Cisneros-Heredia 2004. Pristimantis quinquagesimus. In: IUCN 2014