Scientists have been worried about the decline in amphibians for years now, and the most comprehensive federal survey of its kind has some bad news: Things are worse than they thought. Researchers from the US Geological Survey found that frogs, salamanders, and amphibians of all kinds are disappearing at an annual average clip of 3.7%, reports Red Orbit. "If the rate observed is representative and remains unchanged, these species would disappear from half of the habitats they currently occupy in about 20 years," says the USGS. The full report is in Plos One.
For species already designated as threatened, the situation is even more dire—they're disappearing at a rate of 11.6%, meaning they could be wiped out in half of their current locales in six years. The findings held true no matter the location in the US, even in national parks and refuges, reports the LA Times. "Amphibians have been a constant presence in our planet's ponds, streams, lakes and rivers for 350 million years or so, surviving countless changes that caused many other groups of animals to go extinct," says the USGS. "This is why the findings of this study are so noteworthy; they demonstrate that the pressures amphibians now face exceed the ability of many of these survivors to cope." (Read more amphibians stories.)