Analysis of Data

Please note that the information presented below is based on an analysis of the data from the 2008 IUCN Red List. This was the last year that assessments for all described amphibian species were updated on the Red List. Since then, assessments of amphibian species have been ongoing, therefore the figures for threatened amphibian species have changed since this analysis. For further information about the amphibian assessment process, see the Amphibian Assessment Forum. For the percentage of threatened amphibians on the current IUCN Red List, see Table 1 on the Summary Statisics page.

Summary of Key Findings

The first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of all amphibians was completed as the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) in 2004, and the results were included in the 2004 IUCN Red List. This initiative is one of several led by IUCN and partners with the aim of rapidly expanding the geographic and taxonomic coverage of the IUCN Red List.

Since 2004 there have been two updates of the data, one in 2006, and the most recent in 2008. The 2006 data were included in the recently published book Threatened Amphibians of the World which contains an in-depth analyses of the data as well as individual species accounts for all threatened and extinct species. The individual species accounts were also included in the 2006 and 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A summary of the taxonomic changes made in this update are available here.

The key findings of the 2008 update are presented here and the individual species accounts are included in the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For a summary of the taxonomic changes made in the 2008 update click here.

Almost 650 experts from over 60 countries have so far contributed to the assessment. The study's results provide a baseline for global amphibian conservation, and are already being used to design strategies to save the world's rapidly declining amphibian populations.

Among the key findings in 2008 are:

  • Nearly one-third (32 %) of the world's amphibian species are known to be threatened or extinct, 43 % are known to not be threatened, and 25 % have insufficient data to determine their threat status.
  • As many as 159 amphibian species may already be extinct. At least 38 amphibian species are known to be Extinct; one is Extinct in the Wild; while at least another 120 species have not been found in recent years and are possibly extinct.
  • At least 42 % of all species are declining in population, indicating that the number of threatened species can be expected to rise in the future. In contrast, less than one percent of species show population increases.
  • The largest numbers of threatened species occur in Latin American countries such as Colombia (214), Mexico (211), and Ecuador (171). However, the highest levels of threat are in the Caribbean, where more than 80 % of amphibians are threatened or extinct in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica, and a staggering 92 % in Haiti.
  • Although habitat loss clearly poses the greatest threat to amphibians, a newly recognized fungal disease is seriously affecting an increasing number of species. Perhaps most disturbing, many species are declining for unknown reasons, complicating efforts to design and implement effective conservation strategies.
Threatened species worldwide
Figure: Map of threatened species worldwide.


Further details on the results of the 2008 amphibian data are presented through the following links, including numerous charts, maps, and tables. 

IUCN Red List Status

Geographic Patterns

Major Threats

Habitat Preferences