Frogs are amphibians that fall under the classification of the order of Anura, which is the most abundant order among amphibians representing 88% of the current population. There are 54 unique families of Anurans and the entire order comprises just over 7,400 species as of September 2021.
Amphibians consist of three orders: Anura (Frogs and Toads), Caudata (Salamanders), and finally, Gymnophiona (Caecilians). The current number of amphibians in the world totals about 8,380 species, 88% being frogs and toads, 9% newts and salamanders, and 3% caecilians as of September 2021.
These numbers keep growing because we are discovering more and more frogs each year. Let’s have a look at how many frogs there are in the world in more detail depending on the family, new discoveries, and individual species.
How Many Frog Families And Species Are There?
As of September 2021, there are 54 frog families, 456 genera of frogs, and documented and known 7,401 frog species according to AmphibiaWeb.
Here is a table of the members of order Anura and their number of species as of September 2021:
|Family||Number of species|
Despite frogs being the most dominant among the amphibians, some species are very scarce. Isthmohyla Rivularis, the Tree Frog, is among the rarest animals globally and has been spotted only once in the last 25 years. It is currently categorized among the critically endangered. Recent reports suggest that it has been located at the foothills of the Turrialba Volcano in central Costa Rica.
How Many New Frog Species Are Discvered?
Hundreds of new frog species are discovered each year and according to AmphibiaWeb, as of September 2021, 101 new amphibian species were discovered in 2021, 166 in 2020, 154 in 2019, 166 in 2018 and 179 in 2017 with a total of 1,619 new amphibian species discovered worldwide since 2011.
It is important to know when and where you source information about the number of frogs in the world because these numbers keep increasing month to month. I have read books, websites and blogs providing very different numbers of frogs in the world, from only 3,000 species to just over 7,000 species. Yet these numbers increase constantly (CTNF).
“Since 1985 the total number of recognized species [of amphibians] has increased by over 60%.”AmphibiaWeb
My favourite place to track exact, up to date numbers of amphibians and frogs in the world is most definitely AmphibiaWeb. Their site sources data from scientific journals, bilologists, herptologists and other scientists around the world providing the most accurate number of documented, known frog species.
If we have a look in just the last ten years, AmphibiaWeb states that there have been over 100 species of amphibians discovered per year since 2011:
|Year||New Documented Amphibians|
How Many Individual Frogs Are There in The World?
Observations provided by individual users of the iNaturalist and the HerpMapper platforms have respectively reported 405,390 and 5,609 observations of Anura since January 2021, for a total of about 411,000 documented frogs worldwide as of September 2021.
Here are observations made per frog species on iNaturalist since 2011 as of Spetember 2021:
|Frog Species||Anura Observations (iNaturalist)|
|Northern Leopard Frog||19,731|
|Green Tree Frog||18,431|
|Gray Tree Frog||15,107|
However, these numbers are only based on observations from two websites with a certain a amount of users that document their observations on the platform. Considering that there are thousands of people that see frogs and toads every day and that do not document them, there are much more frogs in the world than the numbers indicate above.
Also, some users may use both platforms, some frogs may be documented more than once, whereas others may go unseen by humans. Some frogs may be estivating, hibernating, or located in remote areas where humans may not be able to observe them and quantify their population.
These graphs, statistics and numbers should therefore only be taken as a general ideas, or a snapshot of frogs that were observed at a certain point in time.
The number of frogs around the world also keeps changing since frogs can reproduce quickly, but are also subject to sharp population declines due to urbaization, deforestation, pollution and other human factors.
Therefore, it is very difficult to track the exact number of individual frogs around the world at a given time.
There are also no numbers providing statistics or general rules to determine male, female or intersex individuals among poplutions of frogs since determining a frog’s sex can be difficult when solely based on observaiton.
Common Questions About The Amount of Frogs
How many toads are in the world? As of June 2021, there were 6,600 observations, of American Toads, 3,300 observations of European Toads, and 860 of Western Toads on iNaturalist. However, it is very difficult to track the exact number of individual toads around the world at a given time.
How many frogs are left in the world 2021? iNaturalist users reported 405,390 observations of frogs since January 2021 worldwide as of September 2021. However, it is very difficult to track the exact number of individual toads around the world at a given time due in part to environmental, observational, and seasonal factors.
How many frogs are in the US? There are approximately 300 frog species that live in the United States. Knowing how many individual frogs are within each of those families at given time it is very difficult to track due in part to environmental, observational, and seasonal factors.
Are frogs going extinct? Frogs are highly susceptible to urbanization, deforestation, pollution and habitat loss and the number of frogs and amphibians around the world has experienced a steady decline since observations of their populations began.
How many frogs die a year? Hundreds of thousands of frogs die every year due to predators, parasites, sicknesses and human activity including urbanization, deforestation, pollution, habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade.
AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Sep 2021
INaturalist. 2021. https://www.inaturalist.org/ Accessed 15 Sep 2021
HerpMapper. 2021. https://www.herpmapper.org/taxon/anura Accessed 15 Sep 2021