Until recently, there has been little focus on amphibian extinctions. Amphibians are declining more rapidly and are more threatened than either birds or mammals. 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.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (version 2021-3) shows that at least 2490 of the 7297 amphibian species on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction. According to the IUCN at least 35 amphibian species have become extinct since the year 1500. However, two of them have recently been rediscovered in the wild: the Vegas Vally Leopard Frog (Lithobates fisheri) in 2011 and the Longnose Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus longirostris) in 2016.
However, the real situation could be much worse, as 146 amphibian species are listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) and 1193 amphibian species as Data Deficient. As information improves, many more amphibians may well prove to be in danger of extinction or already extinct.
Do you know any species or subspecies that should be added to this list or has been rediscovered? If so, please contact this website
The subjoined table shows the amphibian species that recently became ‘globally extinct’ (EX).
|Scientific Name||Common Name||Last sighting / EED ||IUCN status|
|Atelopus vogli||Vogl’s Stubfoot Toad||1957||EX|
|Craugastor chrysozetetes||McCranie’s Robber Frog||1994?||EX|
|Hypselotriton wolterstorffi||Yunnan Lake Newt||1979||EX|
|Incilius periglenes||Golden Toad||1989||EX|
|Nannophrys guentheri||Gunther’s Streamlined Frog||1882||EX|
|Phrynomedusa fimbriata||Spiny-knee Leaf Frog||1896||EX|
|Plethodon ainsworthi||Ainsworth’s Salamander||1964||EX|
|Pseudophilautus adspersus||Thwaite’s Shrub Frog||1886||EX|
|Pseudophilautus dimbullae||Dimbulla Shrub Frog||1933||EX|
|Pseudophilautus eximius||Queenwood Shrub Frog||1933||EX|
|Pseudophilautus extirpo||Blunt-snouted Shrub Frog||1882||EX|
|Pseudophilautus halyi||Pattipola Shrub Frog||1899||EX|
|Pseudophilautus leucorhinus||White-nosed Shrub Frog||Before 1856||EX|
|Pseudophilautus maia||Maia Shrub Frog||(Before) 1876||EX|
|Pseudophilautus malcolmsmithi||Malcolm Smith’s Shrub Frog||(Before) 1927||EX|
|Pseudophilautus nanus||Southern Shrub Frog||1869||EX|
|Pseudophilautus nasutus||Pointed-snouted Shrub Frog||1869||EX|
|Pseudophilautus oxyrhynchus||Sharp-snouted Shrub Frog||1872||EX|
|Pseudophilautus pardus||Leopard Shrub Frog||Before 1859||EX|
|Pseudophilautus rugatus||Farnland Shrub Frog||1927||EX|
|Pseudophilautus temporalis||Striped-snout Shrub Frog||1864||EX|
|Pseudophilautus variabilis||Gunther’s Shrub Frog||1858?||EX|
|Pseudophilautus zal||White-blotched Shrub Frog||Before 1947||EX|
|Pseudophilautus zimmeri||Rumassala Shrub Frog||1927||EX|
|Rheobatrachus silus||Southern Gastric Brooding Frog||1981||EX|
|Rheobatrachus vitellinus||Northern Gastric Brooding Frog||1985||EX|
|Taudactylus diurnus||Mount Glorious Torrent Frog||1979||EX|
- The Effective Extinction Date (EED) is the last reliable record of collection or observation.