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

Species of the Week
Anaxyrus terrestris | Southern Toad

Amphibian News Archive
Wetland contamination threatens many amphibian species that rely on the aquatic habitats for survival and larval development. Heavy metal contamination can be lethal to wildlife and can result from waste run-off. However, Flynn et al. (2019) recently found some cause for hope that Southern toads (Anaxyrus terrestris) may be able to combat copper contamination to some degree. Tadpoles from wetlands that have elevated copper levels were more likely to survive copper exposure in the lab than tadpoles from wetlands with lower copper levels. Given the elevated copper in these wetlands likely resulted from human influences over the past 20 years, it appears these toad populations have responded to a stressor relatively quickly. They provide some evidence and hope for amphibian resilience in the face of heavy metal contamination. However, further studies are needed to understand long-term effects of heavy metals on survival and fitness beyond the tadpole stage.

Current number of amphibian species: 8,076 (Aug 21, 2019) Newly added species