AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.

Species of the Week
Atelopus zeteki | Panamanian Golden Frog

Amphibian News Archive
The current climate crisis has had far-reaching effects on our environment, but how has climate change impacted amphibians and their vulnerability to disease? A study by Cohen et al. (2019) combined lab experiments and observations of decline patterns to evaluate the impact of climate change on disease vulnerability in the imperiled harlequin toads (genus Atelopus). Their study used infection experiments to show that one species – Atelopus zeteki– was most vulnerable to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at high temperatures (28°C). This was unexpected given Bd had an optimal growth rate at a much lower temperature (18°C) in culture. Furthermore, they built models to evaluate patterns of decline for 56 Atelopus species that may have been impacted by Bd. They found that Atelopus from cooler environments had higher extinction risk from climate change than those from warmer environments. These results challenge a common assumption that Bd outbreaks may only occur at cool/moderate temperatures and identify cool-adapted, range-restricted species as being the most vulnerable to synergies between climate change and disease.

Current number of amphibian species: 8,025 (May 27, 2019) Newly added species