Although sometimes difficult to see and find, amphibians are beautiful animals. Many frogs and salamanders are true jewels of the forest with their intriguing colors. But they are also extremely sensitive barometers of environmental health and their disappearance would have dramatic consequences for species that share the same ecosystems -including people.
The permeable skin of amphibians makes them susceptible to changes in the environment, but also arms them with significant biomedical properties. A painkiller isolated in the skin of a frog is 200 times more potent than morphine. Potential treatments for HIV and skin cancer have been isolated from the skin of amphibians. Amphibians also regulate crop pests and vectors of disease such as malaria. If we do not act quickly, we risk losing many similar benefits before they are even discovered.
Not to mention their incalculable role in human cultures, from classical literature to fairy tales, and the aesthetic worth of their bright colors and melodic calls.