This species is known from Pampa Hermosa, San Alberto and 30 km northeast of Tingo María, in Cordillera Azul, at elevations of between 1,330 and 1,850 m asl in the Regions of Junín, Pasco and Huánuco, Peru (Lehr et al. 2006), from within the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park (Pasco) and its buffer zone (E. Lehr pers. comm. February 2013), and within the Llamaquizú Basin at 2,148 m asl (Chavez et al. 2012). It could possibly occur in the intervening area between Cordillera Azul and the other localities in central Peru. Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated at 455 km
Habitat and Ecology
It is known to occur in the Selva Alta ecoregion in primary and secondary forest. The type locality is near the Chanchamayo Valley and is comprised of undisturbed primary forest. Individuals are active at night and can be found on vegetation, ca 1 m above the ground or on the ground (Lehr et al. 2006). It is presumed to breed by direct development.
A total of 22 individuals were found over the course of six person/day surveys in 2003 (von May et al. 2008), suggesting that it may be moderately common. It was found to have a moderate abundance in the upper Llamaquizú basin (Chavez et al. 2012).
Deforestation due to agricultural expansion has been observed in the region where this species occurs (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008, February 2013).
The type locality of this species, Pampa Hermosa, is locally protected as a National Sanctuary (E. Lehr pers. comm. 2008). The species also occurs within the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park (Pasco) and its buffer zone (E. Lehr pers. comm. February 2013). However, habitat outside the protected areas is more vulnerable to human activities, so additional habitat protection is recommended. More information is needed on this species' distribution, population and natural history.
Red List Status
A member of the Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) unistrigatus group following the original publication (Lehr et al. 2006). In the genus Pristimantis following Heinicke et al. (2007).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Pristimantis cruciocularis. In: IUCN 2014