In spite of its broad variety of species, India holds second place on the list of countries having the most number of threatened amphibian species in Asia, with 67 (25%) of its species facing possible extinction. Out of the 38 species of amphibians in Asia that are confirmed to be extinct, by the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA), 1 is from India. In addition, 13 species are listed as Critically Endangered, 31 as Endangered and 23 as Vulnerable. A further 95 species are listed under the data deficient category indicating the number of threatened species may be much higher once information becomes available.

Threats

  • Loss and fragmentation of habitats is the immediate threat to amphibians in India. A vast majority of Indian amphibians occupy regions that are increasingly being used for agricultural purposes. In addition to this, a vast majority of amphibian species dwell in regions that are undergoing urban development, logging and industrialization that have resulted in a drop in stable amphibian habitats.
  • Pollution plays a major role in creating an unstable environment for amphibians in India. Excessive use of pesticides such as DDT, Dieldrin and Malathion have been shown to affect the immune systems of certain amphibian species while use of herbicides such as Atrazine has an affect on their reproductive ability by inducing sex reversal.
  • The building of dams and water management systems disturbs stable environments by altering the natural river flow in areas populated by amphibians.
  • Some species face a dramatic drop in number due to the introduction of alien species such as mosquito fish Gambusia affinis that that destroy amphibian eggs.

Conservation Actions

  • Measures taken to protect habitats and key resources of amphibians
  • Land and water management techniques modified to minimize the impact on amphibians
  • Restoration of habitats and natural processes
  • Preparing and implementing species recovery programmes for selected species