Endangered frogs in the rainforest

With 50 per cent of all species living in the world's rainforests, the importance of protecting this habitat shouldn't be ignored. Amphibians such as the colourful frogs of the rainforest are especially at risk of extinction because many species live in a very specific niche of their habitat. Logging, disease and illegal animal trade put them in further peril. The potential medical benefit of these frogs to humans will go undiscovered if they become extinct. As there are currently 6,000 endangered amphibians, this list is only partial.

Panamanian Golden Frog

Atelopus zeteki, or the Panamanian Golden Frog, is a bright yellow frog with dark black spots. Once the symbol of Panama, the frog is now highly endangered and may already be extinct. Climate change increases the presence of an untreatable fungus that is deadly to the frogs.

Lehman's Poison Frog

Lehman's Poison Frog (Dendrobates lehmanni) is another bright yellow frog with bands of black on its legs and abdomen. The frog lives in a tiny area - only 10 square kilometres - of the Colombian rainforest. Because of this small habitat, any destruction to its range brings this frog closer to extinction.

Interior Rubber Frog

This little frog is a mottled brown colour to blend with its environment. Eleutherodactylus locustus lives in the uplands of Puerto Rico. Its population has been reduced by 80 per cent due to a deadly fungus and the introduction of non-native predators such as cats and rats to its habitat.

Cowen's Mantella

Cowen's Mantella (Mantella cowani) is an impressive-looking frog with a black body and bright orange spots on its shoulders and legs. As with other brightly coloured frogs, this Madagascar resident is poisonous. Its main threats are habitat loss due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade.

Possibly Too Late

Many rain orest frogs were once abundant in their habitat, but have not been seen for decades and may already be extinct. Some of these include:

Golden toad - Incilius periglenes - of Costa Rica

African Painted Frog - Callixalus pictus - of the Republic of Congo

Scarlet frog - Atelopus sorianoi - of Venezuela

Rio Pescado Stubfoot Toad - Atelopus balios - of Ecuador

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About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Tammie Painter has been writing garden, fitness, science and travel articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as "Herb Companion" and "Northwest Travel" and she is the author of six books. Painter earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Portland State University.