International Union for Conservation of Nature

The state of amphibians in Malaysia

Malaysia is an amphibian hotspot, sustaining 218 of the world’s amphibian species. This places Malaysia fourth on the list of countries having the largest amphibian populations in Asia. Malaysia also has the sixth highest number of endemic species in Asia with 63 amphibian species endemic to its numerous habitats. According to the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) out of Malaysia’s 218 amphibian species, 47 are threatened with extinction. 1 species is listed as Critically Endangered, 12 as Endangered and 34 as Vulnerable.

Threats

  • Habitat loss and deforestation are the major causes of population decline and endangerment of Malaysian amphibians.
  • A vast majority of Malaysian amphibians occupy regions where commercial logging and industrialization is taking place, which has resulted in the loss of critical forest cover.
  • A vast majority of amphibians occupy regions that are increasingly being used for residential and urban development. As a result, vast portions of natural rainforest habitats are lost to make way for housing and infrastructure.
  • The use of land for agricultural purposes such as non-timber plantations and livestock farming has also contributed to the loss of habitat of amphibians.
  • Pollution, especially by industrial, military, agricultural and forestry effluents has further contributed to the decline of amphibian populations.

Conservation Actions

  • Measures taken to protect habitats and key resources of amphibians.
  • Land and water management techniques modified to minimize the impact on amphibians.
  • Restoration of habitats and natural processes.
  • Preparation of Malaysian amphibian species prioritization plan by the Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah, has spearheaded research on tailless amphibians, namely population declines, endemism and potential as a regional tourism product.
Amphibian status Malaysia
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