AMPHIBIANS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     9th October 2023        

Context: Recent studies show that two of five amphibians are threatened with extinction due to climate change.

Key Points of Report

  • Habitat loss, diseases, and climate change are major factors negatively impacting vertebrates.
  • Initially, climate change posed the primary threat to only 1 percent of amphibian species listed on the IUCN Red List, but by 2004, it had become the primary threat for 39 percent of these species.
  • Amphibians exhibit the highest vulnerability among species, with 7 percent of them globally classified as threatened, the highest among any species.
  • The status of amphibians worldwide is deteriorating, especially salamanders, of which three out of every five species face threats.
  • The regions with the highest concentration of threatened species include India's Western Ghats, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Caribbean islands, the tropical Andes, Mesoamerica, as well as the mountains and forests of western Cameroon and eastern Nigeria (as per the Wildlife Institute of India (WII)).


  • Amphibians exhibit a variety of sizes.
  • The tiniest among them is Paedophryne amanuensis, a frog native to New Guinea, with dimensions akin to a housefly.
  • Conversely, the Chinese Giant Salamander claims the title of the largest amphibian, capable of reaching six feet in length and weighing up to 140 pounds.
  • Amphibians are ectothermic, meaning their body temperature depends on the environment.
  • Amphibians are vertebrate animals.
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