Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that metamorphose from a juvenile water-breathing form to an adult air-breathing form. Unlike other land animals, amphibians lay eggs in water.
Amphibians are considered ecological indicators, because their populations are among the first to be harmed when an ecosystem is disrupted. For example, in the Yuba-Sutter area, frogs and toads can be quite common in yards where herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers are not used. When harmful chemicals are applied, the amphibians disappear rapidly, and the population of annoying insects usually increases as a result. In recent decades, there has been a dramatic decline in amphibian populations around the world, with many amphibian species recently becoming threatened or extinct.
The bullfrog now common in our area was introduced by European immigrants. However, the amphibian species listed below are native to the Yuba-Sutter area, having lived here long before the arrival of Europeans.
- long-toed salamander
- California slender salamander
- Western toad
- common ensatina
- Pacific tree frog
- foothill yellow-legged frog
- Western spadefoot toad
- California newt