Two out of Five Amphibians are facing Extinction Threat due to Climate Change: Study


Context: The study titled ‘Ongoing declines for the world’s amphibians in the face of emerging threats’ was published on October 4 in the scientific journal, Nature.


Findings of the report

  • The study is based on the second global amphibian assessment coordinated by the Amphibian Red List Authority, a branch of the Amphibian Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission and managed by Re:wild, a wildlife conservation group.
  • The assessment evaluated the extinction risk of more than 8,000 amphibian species from all over the world, including 2,286 species evaluated for the first time
  • More than 1,000 experts across the globe, including scientists and researchers from Assam-based biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak, and other Indian institutions, contributed their data and expertise.
  • A new paper analysing two decades of data from around the world has found that climate change is emerging as one of the biggest threats to frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.
  • The data revealed that two out of every five amphibians are threatened with extinction
  • These data will be published on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Between 2004 and 2022, a few critical threats have pushed more than 300 amphibians closer to extinction, according to the study. 


Reasons for decline in population

  • Climate change was the primary threat for 39% of these species. This number is expected to rise as better data and projections on species’ responses to climate change become available. 
  • Climate change is especially concerning for amphibians in large part because they are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment, the study said.
  • “As humans drive changes in the climate and to habitats, amphibians are becoming climate captives, unable to move very far to escape the climate change-induced increase in frequency and intensity of extreme heat, wildfires, drought and hurricanes,” Jennifer Luedtke Swandby, Re:wild’s manager of species partnerships said.
  • Habitat destruction and degradation affect 93% of all threatened amphibian species, the authors pointed out while underlining the importance of expanded habitat and corridor protection in the places important for biodiversity.


Imp for: UPSC Prelims, UPSC GS Mains Paper III

Topic: Environment, Climate Change, Threatened Species, IUCN


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