13 Gorgeous Pictures Remind Us Why Frogs Need Our Help

Found from the Arctic to the Amazon, frogs are highly adaptable—but habitat loss and disease are silencing species worldwide.

Hopping the Earth for a whopping 190 million years, frogs have figured out how to adapt to just about any climate imaginable.

If there's water, there will be frogs, and there are roughly 4,740 known species, which live on every continent except Antarctica. For instance, the wood frog, which lives north of the Arctic Circle, can survive being frozen alive. Their hearts and lungs stop functioning for up to weeks at a time until they eventually thaw out and return to normal.

Hardy as they are, frogs are also vulnerable to changes in their environment. That's because, when submerged, the aquatic creatures breathe through their thin, permeable skin, which makes them susceptible to shifts in water temperature and pollution. (See "Striking Yellow-Black Rain Frog Found, Is Already Endangered.")

About 200 frog species have gone extinct since the 1970s, including the Rabb’s fringe-limbed tree frog just last year. This rapid die-off is due to habitat loss, water pollution, and the deadly chytrid fungus, among other causes.

Scientists predict that many more frog species could go extinct in the next decade. That's why nonprofit organisations such as the California-based Save the Frogs are working to keep these animals alive, for instance by educating children about the importance of frogs and creating more frog-friendly habitats.

For Save the Frogs Day, April 29, we put together our best photos of these cold-blooded cuties.

LA HOTTE BUSH FROG Critically endangered La Hotte bush frogs, Eleutherodactylus bakeri, pose at the Philadelphia Zoo. Native to Haiti, the amphibian is losing its habitat due to rapid deforestation.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

BLUE POISON DART FROG A pair of blue poison dart frogs, Dendrobates azureus, are seen at Reptile Gardens. These animals emit toxins from the skin that are distasteful and potentially deadly to predators.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

BUDGETT'S FROG Sometimes also known as hippo frogs, Budgett's frogs (pictured, an individual at the Atlanta Zoo) are becoming increasingly popular as pets.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

MALAYSIAN HORNED LEAF FROG The Malaysian horned leaf frog, Megophrys nasuta, is photographed in a studio in Knoxville, Tennessee. These frogs resemble large leaves to blend into their environment.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

HARLEQUIN POISON FROG The harlequin poison frog comes in different colours depending on where it lives. Above, a Colombian frog is seen at the Cali Zoo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

SPLASH-BACKED POISON FROG A small species of poison dart frog, splash-backed poison frogs live in the upper Huallaga River area of Peru.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

SKY-BLUE POISON FROG Found only in Peru, the sky-blue poison frog is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its habitat is declining due to development, and the species lives in an area of less than 2,000 square miles.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

SPOTTED TREE FROG The spotted tree frog (pictured in Knoxville, Tennessee) is widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia. However, the species is declining due to extreme forest loss, prompting the IUCN to list it as near threatened.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

MIMIC POISON FROG A mimic poison frog carries a single tadpole on his back, part of this Amazonian species' incredible reproductive ritual. After the tadpoles hatch, a male will tote the youngsters to a water-filled bromeliad, where they will develop into frogs. Both parents return to this watery nursery regularly so that the female can feed her growing babies with eggs.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

TRUE TOMATO FROG Considered near threatened, this colourful Malagasy species is popular in the pet trade (pictured, an animal at the Lincoln Children's Zoo). Regulations on selling wild-caught tomato frogs have improved their populations, but water pollution is still a major problem.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

PANAMANIAN GOLDEN FROG Panama's national animal, this species is considered extinct in the wild. But many zoos and captive-breeding facilities (pictured, two frogs at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Texas) are working to increase captive populations with the hopes of reintroducing the amphibian into the wild.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

LEMUR LEAF FROG Native to Costa Rica and Panama, the lemur leaf frog (pictured at the Atlanta Botanical Garden) has declined in number 80 percent in the past decade due to the fatal chytrid fungus. The IUCN now considers the species critically endangered.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

Header Image: RED-EYED TREE FROG A red-eyed tree frog, Agalychnis callidryas, peers at the camera at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas. The species may have developed its vivid scarlet peepers to shock predators into at least briefly questioning their meal choice. PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

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