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Amphibian Species Spotlight
 
Red Salamander
[Copyright: J.D. Willson, SREL, used with permission]
 
Red Salamander
Pseudotriton ruber
 
DESCRIPTION: Stout salamander (4-7'') often bright red in color but can be a dark faded red to purplish red. The back is often colored with irregular dark spots.
 
HABITAT: They can be found in terrestrial areas but are generally restricted to streams and moist riparian areas.
 
DISTRIBUTION: Eastern North America extending west to the Mississippi River, south to northern Florida and north to southern Canada.
 
STATUS: Generally common.
 
RESOURCE: AmphibiaWeb
 

Focus on Amphibians

Amphibian populations are in decline in many areas of the world.

In cities and in natural areas, in rainforests and in wetlands, countless areas which previously hosted a range of healthy amphibian populations now have fewer - or even no - frogs, toads, and salamanders. Although healthy populations of some species may exist elsewhere, in some cases, a few species - including Costa Rica's Monteverde golden toad and Australia's Gastric brooding frog - are now believed extinct.

How can you help?

Several amphibian conservation organizations and initiatives are working to stop amphibian declines.


Amphibian Facts

  • Frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians are members of the Class Amphibia.
  • Of the world's seven continents, only Antarctica has no native amphibian species.
  • The continental United States is home to at least 230 amphibian species: 90 frog and toad species, and 140 species of salamanders.
  • In the U.S., declines in amphibian populations are particularly serious in California, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, and Puerto Rico. Worldwide, decline "hot spots" also include Australia and Central America.
  • Amphibian malformations - extra limbs, malformed or missing limbs, and facial malformations - have been documented in 44 states, and involve nearly 60 species. In some local populations, up to 60% of the amphibians exhibit malformations.
  • Issue Overviews for Amphibian Populations, Distributions, and Life Histories
    Showing 10 of 92 ( Show All )
    CollapseAn evaluation of three aquatic sampling techniques for amphibians: implications for inventory and monitoring project design
    Description: Web version of a poster presenting an evaluation of research methods used as part of the USGS Southeastern Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).
    Resource Type: Image Galleries, Issue Overviews, Journal Articles
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: United States Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center (USGS FISC)
    CollapseEffects of predatory fish on Rana capito and Rana sphenocephala larvae
    Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of predatory fish on the survival and behavior of Leopard Frog and Gopher Frog tadpoles.
    Resource Type: Image Galleries, Issue Overviews, Journal Articles
    Resource Format: PDF
    Publisher: United States Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center (USGS FISC)
    CollapseUsing Artificial Refugia to Sample Hylid Frogs in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge An evaluation of three aquatic sampling techniques for amphibians: implications for inventory and monitoring project design
    Description: Web version of a poster presenting an evaluation of research methods used as part of the USGS Southeastern Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).
    Resource Type: Image Galleries, Issue Overviews, Journal Articles
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: United States Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center (USGS FISC)
    CollapseAmphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, Midwest Region Current Research Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
    Description: An overview of research activities conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, Midwest Region in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.
    Resource Type: Bibliographies and Web Indexes, Case Studies, Issue Overviews, Monitoring Protocols
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
    CollapseA message from the frogs (PDF, 2 pp., 223.91)
    Description: The harlequin frogs of tropical America are at the sharp end of climate change. About two-thirds of their species have died out, and altered patterns of infection because of changes in temperature seem to be the cause.
    Resource Type: Issue Overviews
    Resource Format: PDF
    Publisher: James Cook University in Tropical Northern Queensland, Australia
    CollapseA Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Genus Ribeiroia (Digenea): Trematodes Known to Cause Limb Malformations in Amphibians
    Description: The species Ribeiroia cause severe limb malformations and elevated mortality in amphibians. In order to get a better understanding of this species, specimens were collected for research from much of their known range.
    Resource Type: Issue Overviews, Journal Articles
    Resource Format: PDF, URL
    Publisher: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO), a department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder
    CollapseAlaska's Amphibians and Reptiles - Review of First Statewide Conference
    Description: Article reviewing the First Statewide Conference held in Alaska bringing together scientists to share knowledge and research efforts on frogs, salamanders, and toads in Alaska.
    Resource Type: Announcements and News Articles, Issue Overviews
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: Alaska Fish and Wildlife News, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
    CollapseAlliance Works to Save Frogs from Extinction
    Description: Radio interview with Joseph Mendelson III, curator of herpetology, Zoo Atlanta, and acting executive officer, Amphibian Specialist Group, World Conservation Union. The discussion centered around the world decline of amphibians, the steps needed to protect amphibians and the further work that needs to be done. Mr. Mendelson also discussed the proposal for a global organization called the Amphibian Survival Alliance. (Summarized from the interview.) Listeners will need Real Player or Windows Media Player.
    Resource Type: Announcements and News Articles, Issue Overviews
    Resource Format: .ra, .wav, URL
    Publisher: National Public Radio
    CollapseAmphibian Decline Phenomenon
    Description: Explanations and hypotheses to reason why there is major amphibian declines worldwide.
    Resource Type: Issue Overviews
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: University of California, Berkeley
    CollapseAmphibian Declines
    Description: A concise overview of recent observed amphibian declines and malformations phenomena, intended as a topical introduction for an audience unfamiliar with the issues.
    Resource Type: Issue Overviews
    Resource Format: URL
    Publisher: Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency
    Amphibian Conferences of Interest
    Showing 2 Results
    CollapseThe Wildlife Society 2011 Annual Conference
    11/5/2011 - 11/10/2011
    Waikoloa, Hawaii
    United States
    CollapseWorld Congress of Herpetology 7
    8/8/2012 - 8/14/2012
    Vancouver,
    Canada
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