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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

folder.gif Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, Midwest Region

Species of the Midwest Region

  • More than 5,504 known species living worldwide comprise the class Amphibia; 276 of those species live in the continental United States (Crother 2000; Frost 2002).

  • Forty-two species (53 including subspecies and hybrids) of salamanders [order Caudata] live in the Midwest Region (UMR) of ARMI.

  • Thirty-three species (36 including subspecies) of frogs and toads [order Anura] live in the UMR of ARMI.


  • Because of the diversity of salamanders associated with the physical and biological conditions in the southeastern part of our region, the number of species diminishes with distance from that area.

  • For more information on the taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of species go to http://www.discoverlife.org/nh/.

Species of Conservation Concern

  • Forty-one of the 89 species or subspecies (46%) in the Midwest Region of ARMI warrant conservation concern by at least one of the 13 states. These include 20 of the 53 species of salamanders (38%) and 21 of the 36 (58%) species of frogs and toads .These species are either endangered, threatened, species of concern, or protected.

  • No species from this region are listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (http://endangered.fws.gov/).

  • Differences between state and federal concern over the statuses of species largely are because of two factors. State and Federal regulators can have different criteria for evaluating the status of a species. In addition, individual states often contain only small portions of the historical distributions of species. This can result in the populations living in a particular state becoming threatened or endangered before populations throughout the entire range.


Relevant and Cited Literature

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern and central North America. Third Edition, Expanded. Houghton Mifflin, New York. 616 pp.

Crother, B.I. (ed.) 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 29. 82 pp.

Fischer, T.D., D.C. Backlund, K.F. Higgins, and D.E. Naugle. June 1999. Field guide to South Dakota amphibians. South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin 733. South Dakota State University; Brooking. 52 pp.

Frost, Darrel R. 2002. Amphibian species of the world: an online reference.
V2.21 (July 15 2002). Electronic database available at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

Lannoo, M.J. 1998. Status and conservation of midwestern amphibians. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City. 507pp

Potts, G., J.T. Collins, and K. Shaw. 1999. A checklist of the vertebrate animals of Kansas. 2nd Edition

Petranka, J.W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

Kentucky State Nature Preserve Commission, 2004.  Endangered, threatened, and special concern species. http://nrepcapps.ky.gov/ksnpc/etsquery.asp

Species at risk in Kansas. 2004. http://www.gpnc.org/threaten.htm

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Endangered Species Program. http://endangered.fws.gov/

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Page Last Modified: April 21, 2011