Pakistan is endowed with several natural beauties including indigenous wildlife, the mountain of Himalayas, deserts, man-made forests, and other natural resources including the Baluchistan trail. Pakistan is a transitional zone between three zoogeographical regions and a country with rapid changes in altitude affecting its biodiversity. Pakistan is home to some of the rarest plants and animals. Most of the species are under threat due to habitat loss and overuse. Amphibians are some of the most familiar species found everywhere in Pakistan. Being an arid land, only twenty-two species of amphibians have been recorded in Pakistan of which only nine are endemic.
Pakistan's Native Amphibians
Kashmir Paa Frog
Kashmir Paa Frog, Allopaa hazarensis, is a frog species belonging to the Dicroglossidae family. It is native to Hazar, Pakistan and also in Kashmir in India. Kashmir Paa Frog inhabits the fast-flowing stream where it occurs either in torrential sections or in pools. The frog has a shiny brown skin with black spots while the underskin is white in color. The forelimbs are shorter than the hind limbs with each limb having relatively long claws which assist in holding its prey. Its dark eyeballs are covered in round protruding eyelids which also protect the eye while it is under the water. The tadpole uses their oral disc to hold on to stones. Kashmir Paa Frog feeds on small invertebrates and insects. Prolonged drought is a major threat to this species
Long-Legged Cricket Frog
Long-Legged Cricket Frog, Zakerana syhadrensis, is a species of frog in the family Dicroglossidae which is native to Pakistan, Nepal, and India. It is widely distributed and its population is stable. Long-Legged Cricket Frog is small in size with the male on average smaller than the female. The female has a snout-vent length of 22.8 mm while the male’s snout-vent length measures 19.1 mm. The frog is brown in color with black patches and a white underskin. The eyes balls are light brown with a black pupil. During breeding, the male makes a call using a vocal sac during the night and continues until early morning.
Marbled Balloon Frog
Marbled Balloon Frog, Uperodon systoma, belongs to the narrow-mouthed frog native to Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Marbled Balloon Frog has a stout appearance with a relatively small head and grows up to 64 mm in snout-vent length. It lacks teeth because of its diet which consists of mainly termites and ants. It gathers its prey using its tongue. Marbled Balloon Frog buries itself in the soil during summer and feeds mainly during rainy nights. A female Marbled Balloon Frog lays its eggs in water where they can float.
Himalayan Toad, Duttaphrynus himalayanus, is a toad species distributed throughout the Himalayan Mountain. The crown of the Himalayan Toad is deeply concave with a short snout and a broader interorbital space. It has a uniform brown skin with a length of 130 mm from snout to vent. The male has no vocal sacs. Himalayan Toad occurs at an elevation of 2,000 to 3,500 meters. It inhabits the forests and shrublands near the streams of water.
The population of amphibians in Pakistan faces several threats including environmental pollution, especially from industrial waste disposal and soil erosion has a direct effect on the conditions of their habitats and the availability of food. Prolonged drought is also a major threat to these amphibians because most of them cannot survive for long under dry conditions. However, most of the amphibians in Pakistan are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN because of their distribution across Pakistan.