Threats and Population Decline
Although there is no detailed long term population study data for the species, the recent trend in species population is that of decline according to the IUCN. This species is rather commonly observed in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, as well as in the lowlands and premontane forests in Panama; however, the occurrence in southeast Nicaragua is considered rare. (Sunyer et al. 2009) Moreover, the population at La Selva, Costa Rica appears to have experienced declines as reported by the IUCN. (Solis et al. 2011) The overarching reason for this population loss is pressure on the species due to deforestation and subsequent habitat loss and fragmentation. Loss of cover from reduction in standing leaf litter is also an associated proximate cause of species decline noted at La Selva; (Solis et al. 2011) such leaf litter reduction can be caused by thinning of trees or by reduction in precipitation levels over a sustained multi-decadal period. An additional reason for the population decline is chytridiomycosis.
The ecological importance of the Panamanian dry forests stems from its critical location as a biological corridor for seasonal migration of species moving from the higher elevation moist forests to the coastal mangroves, or simply as a gene pool connector for species that can reside in the moist forests as well as the mangroves. In the latter case, populations of some taxa such as the Almirante robber frog (Craugastor talamancae) are effectively isolated by the degradation of the Panamanian dry forests. Most of the ecologically useful fraction of this corridor has been effectively severed by human activity and land cover changes exacted to accommodate the burgeoning human population
Agricultural land conversion is an ongoing threat, as the worldwide human population explosion is placing an ever-growing demand for food crops, and grazing of domestic livestock; the resultant economic pressure for further agricultural land conversion at these easily accessible altitudes. Furthermore, agricultural conversion and human settlement uses compete for surface water resources, further degrading terrestrial habitat.
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