Amphibians spend a portion, if not their entire lives in wetlands. Most amphibian species require water for breeding and is where young develop into adults. Amphibians undergo metamorphosis in which they develop lungs to breathe air in addition to their already present gills. Throughout their lives, amphibians are also able to "breathe" through their skin and for this reason are known as ecological indicators because their health can be very quickly impacted by changes to their habitat. Ecological indicator species are used by environmental groups and government policy makers to determine necessary actions regarding ecosystem health, biodiversity, and productivity.
Wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. One way that amphibians contribute to this is that amphibians are natural pest controllers. Frogs and salamanders living in water systems eat mosquito larvae which keeps their populations down.
With so many wetlands being lost to development in our valley bottom, many Okanagan and Similkameen region salamanders and frogs are considered at risk. Learn to identify the amphibians in your neighbourhood!