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Amphibians play important roles  in ecosystems. Frogs, toads, and salamanders contribute to ecosystem function by eating small insects and bugs (like mosquitos) and by being a food source to larger animals. Amphibians are unique; they have moist, permeable skin which allows them to survive on land and in water. The same skin that helps amphibians thrive in their environment may also make them vulnerable to drought, climate change, and toxic substances. Amphbians are also vulnerable to habitat changes, invasive species, and diseases.

Amphibian health can help us evaluate the overall health of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, USGS scientists, and their scientific partners, have found that amphibian populations are declining across the United States. In a first-of-its-kind study, USGS scientists analyzed nine years of data from 34 sites and 48 species. This study concluded that amphibian decline may be more widespread and severe than previously thought.

USGS scientists continue to work on a wide range of amphibian research on both local and landscape scales. As the science agency of the Department of the Interior, we are advancing how amphibians are studied and monitored. New synthetic approaches, will provide us, and our partners, with the information necessary to answer critical questions about amphibians.



ARMI: Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

ARMI is a National program within the USGS Ecosystems Wildlife program. Seven regions across the country are studied by teams of USGS scientists to provide critical scientific information about amphibian health, habitat, diseases, and population decline. ARMI provides a wealth of information online including annual updates, taxonomy and photo galleries, trend data, and publications.

ARMI Regions with websites: Midwest || Rocky Mountain || Northeast || South Central || Southeast


National Amphibian Atlas

This National Atlas provides amphibian distribution data through an interactive map interface. Most data are viewable down to the county level.

NAAMP: North American Amphibian Monitoring Program

NAAMP collects status and trend data about calling frogs and toads by the unique sounds they make during breeding. Volunteers collect data about species heard, location, air temperature, and wind speed then submit the data through the NAAMP website.

Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Network

A research network has been established to understand the impacts of land use and climate change on salamander populations and to model population dynamics. The primary focal species is Plethodon cinereus.

Monitoring Amphibians

National Capital Region

Vernal Pool in the Northeast

Shenandoah salamander in Shenandoah National Park

Effects of Network Structure on Stream Salamanders

Managing Habitat

Morphological variation of Plethodon shenandoah and Plethodon cinereus in
high-elevation areas of Shenandoah National Park

Stream salamanders in Shenandoah National Park:
Movement and survival of stream salamander populations

Do Restored Wetlands Provide Quality Amphibian Habitat in an Agricultural Landscape?


Amphibian Decline

Role of Pesticides

Pesticide Impacts on Sierran Amphibians

Monitoring the status in California and Arizona

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center Amphibian Decline Research

Blackrock: Biological Hotspot and Hotbed of Collaboration

Elucidating mechanisms underlying amphibian declines in North America using hierarchical spatial models





USGS Study Confirms U.S. Amphibian Populations Declining at Precipitous Rates
New amphibian chytrid fungus tests ease search for wide-ranging frog disease
Citizen Scientists On A Mission To Find Frogs
USGS amphibian decline modeling project selected by the Powell Center for support during 2014-15
Front Row Seats to Climate Change



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Page Last Modified: Monday August 10 2015