Environment

Native Amphibians Of Afghanistan

Despite its generally dry climes and rugged terrains, several frogs and toads make homes for themselves in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in Asia. The country has a mountainous terrain with most parts being dry. Some frogs and toads thrive in the aquatic environments offered by the rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and marsh wetlands in the country. These amphibians are mainly found in relatively stable populations hence most have been listed as least concern. However, human activities continue to expose the habitats of these animals to degradation and deterioration raising concerns about the future stability of these species.

Native Amphibians Of Afghanistan

Baluch Mountain Frog

The Baluch mountain frog is a least concern species and a very aquatic species found in rivers, swamps and freshwater marshes of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. The mountain frog spends its time in the water and has reduced activity. Reproduction occurs within the water with some eggs being laid and attached to aquatic vegetation. The diet of the mountain frog is composed of insects, small fishes, crabs, and other water dwelling invertebrates. Habitat loss and degradation are constant threats to the populations of the mountain frog.

Iranian Earless Toad

The Iranian earless toad is classified as a least concern species in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, occupying the tropical and subtropical grasslands, wetlands such as marshes and even urban settlements. The Iranian earless toad faces a constant threat from habitat loss and degradation through pollution and extensive agriculture. The Iranian earless toad mainly occupies high altitude areas of an elevation of about 2,250 m. Reproduction occurs during the monsoon season with eggs laid in double strings that are attached to aquatic vegetation in the breeding areas.

Skittering Frog

The skittering frog is a least concern species found on the edges of water bodies peeping. The frog has a moderate-sized head, slender and pointed fingers with a spotted olive to the brown upper body with a speckled underside. The frog is widely in most South Asian countries including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Myanmar. The frog’s habitats include a variety of wetlands including marshes and pools.

Indus Valley Bullfrog

The bullfrog is a freshwater and classified as least concern frog species native to Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. The nocturnal frog spends most of the time foraging in vegetation matter around its habitats (mainly freshwater wetlands) feeding on insects, mice, shrew, earthworms, roundworms, snakes, and invertebrates. The coloration of the frog’s upper body is usually green or olive. The edible frog is captured and bred in homes for a source of food. The bullfrog is solitary sometimes occupying holes and bushes close to permanent water bodies.

Marsh Frog

The marsh frog is a least concern species that mainly spends its time in the water. The frog commonly has a green coloration on its body with variants being brown or gray. The frog has a length of between 12 and 17cm with males being smaller than females. The marsh frog’s diet is composed of small rodents, fish, small amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, dragonflies, earthworms, and slugs. The marsh frog is found in warm areas of Europe and Asia including Iran and Afghanistan.

Threats And Conservation Efforts In Afghanistan

Due to continued habitat degradation and loss, amphibians of Afghanistan are under constant threats to their population which is made worse by the political instability of the country. Several efforts have been made, although few, in an attempt to safeguard the diversity of the country.

Native Amphibians of AfghanistanScientific Name
Baluch Mountain FrogChrysopaa sternosignata
Iranian Earless Toad
Pseudepidalea surda
Skittering FrogEuphlyctis cyanophlyctis
Indus Valley BullfrogHoplobatrachus tigerinus
Marsh FrogPelophylax ridibundus

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