Protect Amphibians in Peril
12,621 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site
Call on the federal government to strengthen protections for native amphibians.
Amphibians, the mystical creatures that gracefully straddle the realms of water and land, play an irreplaceable role in our planet's intricate ecosystems. Yet, these remarkable beings are under siege, facing dire challenges such as habitat loss, pollution, and the peril of roadkill.
Amphibians Need Our Help
Frogs, toads, and salamanders, are in the midst of a global crisis. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, numerous amphibian species are on the precipice of extinction1. While the threat is clear, the resources allocated for their protection have been insufficient, leaving herpetologists concerned about their ability to combat this crisis effectively.
A study compared the funding allocated per species listed under the ESA for different vertebrate classes in the United States2. Shockingly, it revealed that US amphibians receive only a fraction of the funding received by other vertebrate classes, with just one-quarter of the resources at their disposal. This glaring disparity exacerbates the challenges amphibians face in their struggle for survival.
In an alarming revelation, 82% of amphibian species identified as at-risk by NatureServe evaluations remain unlisted under the ESA, as reported in BioScience3. This glaring omission represents a missed opportunity to provide legal protection to these vulnerable species.
Threats to Amphibians
Every year, numerous amphibians fall victim to vehicular accidents, endangering their populations4. While common animals like squirrels and raccoons often meet this fate, endangered species are not spared.
Amphibians are especially vulnerable to roadkill due to their unique behaviors and physiology5. Cold-blooded creatures, they are drawn to the warmth of asphalt, making them prone to road crossings. Unlike some animals that instinctively avoid roads, certain amphibians exhibit
Amphibians' distinct life cycle, involving transitions between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, makes them susceptible during migrations6. Spring nights, filled with rain replenishing forest pools and calling them to mate, witness frenzied amphibian movements. During these migrations, countless amphibians venture onto roads, often with fatal consequences.
The ESA: A Vital Lifeline
As amphibians grapple with multifaceted threats, the ESA emerges as a lifeline for their conservation7. This critical legislation has the potential to offer legal protection and essential resources in the face of the looming crisis. However, concerted efforts are imperative to rectify funding disparities, address listing bias, and raise awareness about the ESA's pivotal role in safeguarding these extraordinary creatures.
The time to act is now. Sign our petition and be a part of the movement to protect and conserve our native amphibians.
- Deanna H. Olson, Daniel Saenz, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Climate Change Resource Center (March 2013), "Amphibians and Climate Change."
- Erich K. Eberhard, David S. Wilcove, Andrew P. Dobson, PLoS One (12 October 2022), "Too few, too late: U.S. Endangered Species Act undermined by inaction and inadequate funding."
- Brian Gratwicke, Thomas E. Lovejoy, David E. Wildt, BioScience (1 February 2012), "Will Amphibians Croak under the Endangered Species Act?."
- Ben Goldfarb, The Atlantic (7 September 2023), "America Is Telling Itself a Lie About Roadkill."
- Florian Heigl, Kathrin Horvath, Gregor Laaha, Johann G. Zaller, BMC Ecology (2017), "Amphibian and reptile road-kills on tertiary roads in relation to landscape structure: using a citizen science approach with open-access land cover data."
- Silviu O. Petrovan, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Biological Conservation (August 2019), "Neglected juveniles; a call for integrating all amphibian life stages in assessments of mitigation success (and how to do it)."
- National Marine Fisheries Service, (13 June 2023), "Endangered Species Act."
To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency,
We, the undersigned concerned citizens, call upon the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen and enforce the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the protection of native amphibians in the United States.
Why Amphibians Matter
Amphibians are an integral part of our ecosystems, playing vital roles in maintaining ecological balance. They serve as both indicators of environmental health and essential contributors to the food web. However, native amphibians face unprecedented threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and the lethal consequences of roadkill.
- Habitat Loss: Amphibians are losing their habitats due to urbanization, deforestation, and wetland destruction. These changes disrupt their breeding and foraging grounds, pushing many species closer to extinction.
- Pollution: Contaminants from agricultural runoff, industrial activities, and climate change have polluted amphibian habitats, causing harm to their populations and the ecosystems they inhabit.
- Roadkill: Road networks pose a significant threat to amphibians, especially during their migrations. Countless frogs, toads, and salamanders fall victim to vehicular traffic, further endangering their survival.
The ESA is a crucial tool for mitigating these threats, providing legal protection and resources for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. However, there is a pressing need to address funding disparities, listing bias, and increase public awareness about the importance of safeguarding amphibians.
How Your Support Makes a Difference
By signing this petition, you join us in advocating for stronger ESA protections for native amphibians. We request that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency take the following actions:
- Increase Funding: Allocate additional resources to amphibian conservation efforts under the ESA to rectify existing funding disparities.
- Address Listing Bias: Prioritize listing amphibian species at risk, as identified by organizations like NatureServe, to ensure legal protection for those most vulnerable.
- Promote Awareness: Launch educational campaigns to inform the public about the plight of amphibians and the critical role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
- Support Conservation Initiatives: Partner with organizations dedicated to amphibian conservation and provide incentives for volunteer participation.
- Advocate for Road Safety: Collaborate with transportation authorities to implement roadkill prevention measures, especially during amphibian migrations.
- Restore Habitat: Invest in habitat restoration projects that focus on preserving and enhancing critical amphibian environments.
- Engage in Research: Fund scientific research to better understand the threats facing amphibians and develop effective conservation strategies.
- Legislative Amendments: Support amendments to the ESA that strengthen protections for native amphibians.
- Citizen Science Programs: Establish and promote citizen science programs for reporting amphibian roadkill incidents and monitoring habitat conditions.
- Vote for Conservation: Advocate for and support political candidates who prioritize environmental conservation and the protection of endangered species.
A Healthier Ecosystem for Tomorrow
Our collective actions today will have a profound impact on the ecosystems of tomorrow. By protecting native amphibians and their habitats, we contribute to healthier, more resilient environments. Amphibians act as indicators of environmental quality, and their well-being is intertwined with the health of entire ecosystems.
Preserving amphibian populations ensures the balance of predator-prey relationships, nutrient cycling, and the overall stability of ecosystems. It fosters biodiversity, benefiting not only amphibians but countless other species, including humans. Healthy ecosystems enhance water quality, pollination, and climate regulation, offering a sustainable future for all.
Sign this petition and stand with us in supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency in their efforts to protect native amphibians under the Endangered Species Act. Together, we can ensure a brighter, more biodiverse, and ecologically sound future for generations to come.