Why amphibians?

Endemism is particularly marked among amphibians in the Western Ghats: of approximately 200 species, roughly 170 are endemic. This remarkable endemism is not only at species level but also at higher taxonomic levels (eight genera and one family). The recent trends in amphibian research clearly emphasize the importance of extensive 'search and discover' scientific studies to record the large number of undiscovered species.

Amphibians are the most threatened group of animals in the world, with one in three of the 6,000 recognized amphibian species at risk of extinction. The amphibian fauna of the Western Ghats is also facing high risk of rapid extinction due to habitat destruction. Among the Ghat's endemics, over 90 species are considered threatened. One of the reasons amphibians are in such dire straits is because many species are only found in single site. Therefore they are much more susceptible to habitat loss and consequent extinction. In the Western Ghats several species are known only from small areas and hence a small habitat alteration may wipe out the species forever. We require data based plans and rational action to conserve our amphibians.