Outlook worsens for world’s amphibians

Climate change poses a growing threat, a recent assessment found

A new global assessment found that 41% of the world’s amphibians are threatened with extinction. That’s up from 39% in the previous assessment released in 2004.

Published in Nature, the second Global Amphibian Assessment found that amphibians remain the most threatened class of vertebrates, with salamanders facing the greatest risks. Habitat loss poses the greatest threats, but climate change and disease present rising concerns.

Climate change was responsible for more than a third of “status deteriorations” since the last report, according to the assessment, which evaluated over 8,000 species for the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

“Scaled-up investment is urgently needed to reverse the current trends,” the authors concluded.

Read the assessment in Nature.


Header Image: The Chiriqui harlequin frog (Atelopus chiriquiensis) is among the most recent amphibian species believed to have gone extinct. Credit: Brian Gratwick from a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute image.