This species has been recorded from 11 localities on the upper slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in the provinces of Imbabura and Pichincha, north-western Ecuador, at elevations of 1,550-3,190m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a cloud forest species. Most individuals have been found under stones or clods of earth by day. Although it can tolerate a small amount of habitat degradation, it cannot survive in places where opening up of the habitat results in a decrease in humidity. It is presumed to breed by direct development, but the site of egg deposition is not known.
It was once very common, but it has now declined in certain places, especially where disturbance leads to general drying out of the habitat.
The major threat is habitat loss and degradation due to agricultural development (including livestock farming), logging and human settlement.
Its geographic range overlaps the Reserva Geobotánica Pululahua, but additional protection of the cloud forest habitat in the range of this species is necessary.
John Lynch, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron 2004. Pristimantis surdus. In: IUCN 2014