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A juvenile salamander clings to the moss and rock on the side of a hill on San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. While many are charmed by the aesthetic splendor of salamanders, they are also important indicators of environmental health, according to USGS biologist Robert Fisher. Monterey salamander finding at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge prompts biologists to test for deadly fungus

By: Cox L; April 15, 2019

Cold, dark and rainy nights are not your typical postcard picture of San Diego, but these are just the type of nights that reptile experts wait for in early spring.

Robert Fisher from the U.S. Geological Survey is one of those reptile experts, known as herpetologists. On a hunch and from his extensive knowledge of amphibians in Southern California, he set out in early February with (...more)
Northern Leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) in a wetland in Worth County, Iowa. Scientists track 72 northern leopard frogs in two wetlands in an agricultural setting in Iowa for insights into where and when individual adult frogs are likely exposed to pesticides. Exploring the amphibian exposome in an agricultural landscape using telemetry and passive sampling

By: Swanson JE; Muths E; Pierce CL; Dinsmore SJ; Vandever MW; Hladik ML; Smalling KL; September 11, 2018

USGS and Iowa State University scientists quantified Northern Leopard frog exposure to pesticides in aquatic and terrestrial habitats using a novel combination of radio telemetry and passive sampling techniques to better understand factors affecting frog health and survival in agricultural landscapes. The results of this newly published research can inform conservation strategies by providing info(...more)
Content image. 1000 Critically Endangered Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs released back into Los Angeles County!

By: Fisher RN; Backlin AR; Gallegos E; June 27, 2018

The USGS has been leading the recovery efforts for the Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana muscosa) since 2000, in partnership with the USFWS, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, and other partners. On June 26 and 27, 2018, 1000 tadpoles produced from captive frogs raised at the Los Angeles Zoo were released into the(...more)

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ARMI Mission Statement

In response to indications of worldwide declines in amphibian populations, the President and Congress directed Interior Department agencies to initiate a national program of amphibian monitoring, research, and conservation. There is an urgent need to determine the scope and severity of the problem and to investigate causes. The U.S. Geological Survey is uniquely qualified to coordinate and lead a cooperative national effort because its scientists have been in the forefront of studying amphibian populations and life history traits, measuring and monitoring environmental characteristics, and conducting research into potential causes of decline. As a result, the Agency formed the National Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).

ARMI Goals and Objectives

  • » Relate Status and trends of amphibians to management options at the scale of management units.
  • » Identify causes of declines.
  • » Provide essential scientific information to support effective management actions to arrest or reverse declines.