13 Amazing and Critically Endangered Frogs

credit: Brian Gratwicke

Introducing: the frog. These tail-less amphibians are wonderfully diverse, but sadly many species find themselves in an increasingly inhospitable world. All of the frogs featured here are listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. We hope that learning about these creatures will inspire readers to act to conserve their precious habitats. First on our list is the Lemur Leaf Frog (Agalychnis lemur). This species is primarily found in Costa Rica and Panama. Like many endangered frogs, the decline of this species is likely due to an infectious fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. The fungus has infected amphibians in many parts of the globe, including North and South America, the Caribbean and Australia.

credit: Vladlen Henríquez

The Black-eyed Leaf Frog (Agalychnis moreletii) is native to Belize, El Savador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. It lives in lowland mountain forests and wetlands. This species may also commonly be called Morelet’s tree frog. It is another frog threatened by chytridiomycosis, as well as a loss of habitat.

credit: Esculapio

Anodonthyla vallani is a species of narrow-mouthed frog. It is only found in the high forest mountains of Ambohitantely Reserve in Madagascar. Although its habitat is a protected area, the reserve is small, so the survival of this frog depends on the continued preservation of its habitat.

credit: Brian Gratwicke

Once believed to be extinct, this Harlequin Frog (Atelopus varius) today is only found in a small area near Quepos, Costa Rica, although its range once stretched across Costa Rica to Panama. The exact reasons for this species’ decline are unknown, but global warming and chytridiomycosis are two possible theories. These frogs are found along streams and are active during the day.

credit: Malcolm Largen

Balebreviceps hillmani is commonly know as the Bale Mountains Tree Frog, because the only population is found in Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. Although the area is protected, these frogs are nonetheless threatened by habitat degradation caused by firewood collection and cattle grazing. They may also be called Ethiopian Short-headed Frogs.

credit: Franco Andreone

The Williams’ Bright-eyed Frog (Boophis williamsi) is another frog found only in a small region of Madagascar. It lives on the mountain top of Ankaratra Massif, at an altitude of over 8,000 feet above sea level. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its habitat is threatened by grazing livestock and burns for agricultural purposes.

credit: Patrick Kinyatta Malonza

This frog is commonly known as the Taita Hills Warty Frog (Callulina dawida), named for its habitat in south-eastern Kenya. This population has suffered from habitat fragmentation, and lives in separated patches of forest. There is some good news for this species: the Taita Hills have been recognized as a key biodiversity area, and there are plans to turn a number of tree plantations in the area back into native forests.

credit: lngray

This little frog measures about 1.4 inches from head to tail. Known as Gregg’s Stream Frog (Craugastor greggi) these critically endangered creatures are found in Guatemala and Mexico. They live in cloud forests and breed in freshwater streams. This frog is threatened by habitat loss, but its population decline is also likely due to the chytridiomycosis fungus disease.

credit: Joe Townsend

As its name suggests, the Honduran Brook Frog (Duellmanohyla salvavida) is native to Honduras. It’s found in rainforests, and lays its eggs in vegetation that overhang streams. When the young hatch, they side into the water below. These species has suffered from habitat loss due to logging and agriculture. Water pollution caused by landslides is also a problem for this species.

credit: Brian Gratwicke

This fancy frog is commonly called Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum). It’s native to Panama, and lives at high elevations in the canopy of the forests. These tree frogs are nocturnal, and can be heard calling to one another at night. They’re considered critically endangered because of their small range, and are at risk due to habitat degradation.

credit: Melbourne Zoo

The Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree), which is native to Australia, saw a population decline of over 80 percent between the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s unclear what caused this loss, but conservationists have been successful at breeding these frogs in captivity. It is hoped that this “back-up” population may one day help re-establish the Corroboree in the wild.

credit: Josiah H. Townsend

Another frog native to Honduras, this Spikethumb Frog (Plectrohyla dasypus) is threatened by the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis. The Honduran Spikethumb Frog was first listed as "Critically Endangered" in 2004. It also has a limited range, and is only found in the Parque Nacional Cusuco, in the north-western part of the country.

What you can do

credit: Sandeep Varma

This frog pictured here is a member of Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus species. These frogs have only been found in the Indira Gandhi National Park in India. But outside of the park, the forests that these frogs might call home are threatened by logging and conversion for agricultural purposes.

What you can do to help the frogs

There are also many frogs that we know so little about, that we can’t say if they’re endangered or not. Additionally, new species of frogs are being discovered and described all the time—so protecting frog habitats is not only important for preventing certain species from going extinct, but also for understanding the full extent of frog diversity. The advice we give for protecting the human environment can also go a long way towards protecting the environment for all kinds of animals, but there are some things that you can do that particularly benefit frogs. Avoid pesticides in your lawn and garden Frogs are particularly susceptible to the chemicals used in pesticides, as work by biologists such as Dr. Tyrone Hayes has shown. Avoid using pesticides in your own backyard, and you can also help support the use of less pesticides in agriculture by choosing organic food. Donate to a frog-friendly conservation effort There are a number of awesome conservation efforts going on around the world to prevent more species of frogs from going extinct. Consider donating to the Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project in Panama or the Amphibian Ark, an organization supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.