Globally Extinct: Amphibians

Golden ToadUntil recently, there has been little focus on amphibian extinctions. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2011.1) records only 37 amphibian species as having become extinct (IUCN 2010ab; IUCN 2011), but two of these species have been rediscovered: the Holdridge’s Toad (Incilius holdridgei) in 2010 and the Vegas Vally Leopard Frog (Rana fisheri) and Hula Painted Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer) in 2011 (Abarca et al. 2010; Hekkala et al. 2011; Rinat 2011). These figures grossly under represents the true number of amphibian extinctions that have taken place in historic times, due to very incomplete and uneven geographically sampling. (Baillie et al. 2004; IUCN 2010b) The Sixth Extinction website lists 35 amphibian species as extinct. However, an additional 127 amphibian species are listed as missing (possibly extinct).

Photo: A male Golden Toad (Incilius periglenes). In 1989, a single male Golden Toad was found (not the one pictured here), this was the last record of the species. Photographed by Charles H. Smith. This image or recording is the work of an U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Amphibians are declining more rapidly and are more threatened than either birds or mammals (Stuart et al. 2004). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2011.1) shows that at least 1912 of the 6638 (Frost 2010) to 6686 (AmphibiaWeb 2010) known amphibian species on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction (IUCN 2011). In 2008, a total of 120 amphibian species are listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct), and most of these could have disappeared since 1980 (Baillie et al. 2004; Vié et al. 2009). The main cause of this current rappid decline is most likely chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis is an infectious funcal disease of amphibians, caused by the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Its spread and the subsequent declines of amphibian populations and species has been dramatically expedited by global warming. It is difficult to gain a clear, current picture of the status of amphibian population, because their extinctions are happening so rapidly, and few scientists are monitoring them. The indications are that the extinction of amphibians is the most serious wave of all extinctions currently taking place. (Baillie et al. 2004; Crawford et al. 2010; IUCN 2010ab; IUCN 2011; Wikipedia contributors 2010)

Do you know any species or subspecies that should be added to this list or has been rediscovered? If so, please contact this website.

 

Species (34) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Adenomus kandianus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Atelopus ignescens   Unknown (a frog from Ecuador) EX EX
Atelopus longirostris   Unknown (a frog from Ecuador) EX EX
Atelopus vogli Unknown (a frog from Venezuela) EX EX
Craugastor chrysozetetes   Unknown (a frog from Honduras) EX EX
Craugastor escoces Unknown (a frog from Costa Rica) EX EX
Cynops wolterstorffi Yunnan Lake Newt EX EX
Incilius periglenes Golden Toad EX EX
Nannophrys guentheri Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus adspersus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus dimbullae Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus eximius Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus extirpo Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus halyi Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus hypomelas Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus leucorhinus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus maia Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus malcolmsmithi Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus nanus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus nasutus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus oxyrhynchus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus pardus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus rugatus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus stellatus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus temporalis Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus travancoricus Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus variabilis Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus zal Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Philautus zimmeri Unknown (a frog from Sri Lanka) EX EX
Phrynomedusa fimbriata Unknown (a frog from Brazil) EX EX
Plethodon ainsworthi Ainsworth's Salamander EX EX
Rheobatrachus silus Conondale Gastric-brooding Frog  EX EX
Rheobatrachus vitellinus Eungella Gastric-brooding Frog EX EX
Taudactylus diurnus Southern Day Frog EX EX

 

References

Abarca, J., Chaves, G., García-Rodríguez, A., Vargas, R. (2010) Reconsidering extinction: Rediscovery of Incilius holdridgei (Anura: Bufonidae) in Costa Rica after 25 years. Herpetological Review 41, 150-152.

AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. (2010). Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: http://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed: Jul 27, 2010).

Baillie, J.E.M., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Stuart, S.N. (eds) (2004). 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A Global Species Assessment. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. [Available via http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/html/Red%20List%202004/completed/cover.html].

Crawford, A. J., Lips, K. R., and Bermingham, E. (2010). Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print, July 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914115107.

Frost, Darrel R. (2010). Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April, 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

Hekkala, E.R., et al. (2011). Resurrecting an extinct species: archival DNA, taxonomy, and conservation of the Vegas Valley leopard frog. Conservation Genetics. Published online 28 May 2011. DOI 10.1007/s10592-011-0229-6.

IUCN (2010a). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 August 2010.

IUCN (2010b). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 12 November 2010.

IUCN (2011). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 June 2011.

Rinat, Zafrir (2011). Long thought extinct, Hula painted frog found once again in Israeli nature reserve. Haaretz.com. Downloaded on 17 November 2011 from http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/long-thought-extinct-hula-painted-frog-found-once-again-in-israeli-nature-reserve-1.396000.

Stuart, S.N., J.S. Chanson, N.A. Cox, B.E. Young, A.S.L. Rodrigues, D.L. Fischman, and R.W. Waller. (2004). Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science 306:1783-1786.

Vié, J.-C., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Stuart, S.N. (eds.) (2009). Wildlife in a Changing World – An Analysis of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 180 pp.

Wikipedia contributors (2010), 'Chytridiomycosis', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 July 2010, 02:27 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chytridiomycosis&oldid=374071027> [accessed 27 July 2010]

 

Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2011). Globally Extinct: Amphibians. In: TSEW (). The Sixth Extinction Website. <http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct>. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 17 November 2011

 

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