Ecosystems - Wildlife: Terrestrial and Endangered Resources Program
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.