What is an Amphibian?
Amphibians are ectothermic (cold-blooded), tetrapod vertebrates (animals with backbones) that routinely begin living in water as larva with gills then go through a metamorphosis thus becoming an air-breathing adult with lungs. Amphibians use their skin (a vital organ) as a secondary respiratory surface to drink and breathe. In some cases, a few small terrestrial frogs and salamanders lack lungs and rely completely upon their skin for breathing.
Amphibians are classified into three groups or orders know as:
Anura: Frogs and Toads
Caudata or Urodela: (Salamanders and Newts)
Gymnophiona or Apoda: (Caecilians)
Where do amphibians live?
Amphibians inhabit all continents except Antarctica and live in varied habitats such as rainforests, rivers and streams, deserts and alpine environments.
Why are amphibians so important and why are they under threat?
Amphibians are extremely important because they are usually among the first species to be affected by environmental stressors, thus making them excellent ecological indicators.
Destruction of habitat and modification, over-exploitation, invasive species, pollution, climate change/global warming and diseases like chytridiomycosis are threatening this species and causing unprecedented and unexpected losses.
How many different species of amphibians exist?
There are about 6,000 amphibian species that exists around the world.
Who is protecting amphibians and preserving their habitats?
How can I help protect amphibians and help restore them in the wild?