The extinction risk for birds, mammals, and amphibians

3. Amphibians

Felipe Leon/Reuters/File
A salamander swims in an aquarium at the National Autonomous University of Mexico laboratory. The half-foot-long axolotl is nearly extinct in its only remaining habitat: the polluted Aztec canals that snake though southern Mexico City.

Forty-one percent of amphibians are classified as threatened – compared with only 13 percent of birds and 25 percent of mammals. The risk of extinction status for amphibious species deteriorated 3.4 percent between 1980 and 2004. That comes out to 662 amphibian species moving one or more categories closer to extinction. At least nine species have gone extinct since 1980 and 95 became "possibly" extinct.

Conservation efforts were not significant enough to counter the decline in amphibian species and only four species improved their extinction status. Researchers attributed this to a lack of conservation plans for amphibians because their extinction threat is comparatively new.

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