Declines of Amphibian Populations in North and Central Mongolia

Sergius L. Kuzmin


In 2007 and 2008, I conducted amphibian surveys in northern and central Mongolia, where amphibians were studied formerly in 1980’s – early 1990’s. Four amphibian species were found: Salamandrella keyserlingii, Hyla japonica, Rana amurensis, and Bufo raddei. Population declines were noticed in all species, but the first three species are most affected. Large disjunctions in modern geographic distribution of R. amurensis in central Mongolia were found. Two species from the Red Data Book of Mongolia, S. keyserlingii and H. japonica seem to be most affected. Populations of B. raddei are least affected. Main cause of amphibian declines is alteration of habitats, mainly the drying up of, and destruction of wetlands. This has resulted from a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors, i.e., aridification of the environment and intensification of agriculture (mainly cattle breeding). Drastic decline of two richest amphibian assemblages in the Orkhon River lower reaches is described. Creation of a protected area there is recommended.


Amphibians; populations; ecology; conservation; Mongolia; Salamandrella keyserlingii; Bufo raddei; Hyla japonica; Rana amurensis

Full Text:



Bannikov A. G. (1958), «Data on the fauna and biology of Amphibia and Reptilia in Mongolia», Byull. Mosk. Obshch. Ispytat. Prirody, 68(2), 71 – 91 [in Russian].

Borkin L. Y. and Kuzmin S. L. (1988), «Amphibians of Mongolia: species accounts», in: E. I. Vorobyeva and I. S. Darevsky (eds.), Amphibians and Reptiles of Mongolian Peoples Republic: General Problems. Amphibians, Nauka, Moscow, pp. 30 – 197 [in Russian].

Heyer W. R., Donnelley M. A., McDiarmid R. W., Hayek L. C., and Foster M. S. (eds.) (1994), Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians, Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington.

Kuzmin S. L. (1986a), «Materials on ecology of amphibians and reptiles of North Mongolia», in: Prirodnye Usloviya i Resursy MNR [Natural Conditions and Resources of Mongolian People’s Republic], Nauka, Moscow, pp. 163 – 164 [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L. (1986b), «Ecology and biocenotic role of the Siberian Frog (Rana amurensis) in Mongolia», in: E. I. Vorobyeva (ed.), Herpetological Researches in Mongolian People's Republic, Moscow, pp. 22 – 59 [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L. (1988), «General account of amphibian ecology», in: E. I. Vorobyeva and I. S. Darevsky (eds.), Amphibians and Reptiles of Mongolian Peoples Republic: General Problems. Amphibians, Nauka, Moscow, pp. 198 – 212 [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L. (1995), «Developmental ecology of the Mongolian toad (Bufo raddei)», in: W. Böhme (ed.), Proc. and Abstrs. of the 8th Ord. Gen. Meet. Soc. Eur. Herpetol., Bonn, pp. 76 – 77.

Kuzmin S. L. and Boldbaatar Sh. (2008), «Amphibians and reptiles», in: G. Erdenezhav, N. M. Kalibernova, T. M. Koroleva, and P. D. Gunin (eds.), Poimennye Luga Severnoi Mongolii [Floodplain Meadows of North Mongolia], KMK, Moscow, pp. 180 – 181 [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L., Munkhbayar Kh., and Oyuntschimeg Zh. (1986), «On ecology and distribution of Siberian newt (Salamandrella keyserlingii) in Mongolia», in: E. I. Vorobyeva (ed.), Herpetological Researches in Mongolian People’s Republic, Moscow, pp. 59 – 73 [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L., Munkhbayar Kh., and Oyunchimeg Zh. (1989), «Ecology of reproduction and development of Bufo raddei», Ulsyn Bagshijn Deed Surguul Erdem Shinjilgee-zaakh Argyn Bichig, 21(25), 258 – 271 [in Mongolian].

Munkhbayar Kh. (1976), Amphibians and Reptiles of Mongolia, ABYa Publ., Ulan-Bator [in Mongolian].

Munkhbayar Kh., Terbush Kh., and Munkhbaatar M. (2001), Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of Mongolia, Eastern Steppe Biodiversity Project, Ulaanbaatar [in Mongolian].

Nikolsky A. M. (1905), «Herpetologia Rossica», Mem. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersbourg, Ser. Phys.–Math., 17(1), 1 – 518 [in Russian].

Obst F.-J. (1962), «Eine herpetologische Sammelreise nach der Mongolei», Aquarien–Terrarien, 9(11), 333 – 342.

Obst F.-J. (1963), «Amphibien und Reptilien aus dem Mongolei», Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin, 39(2), 361 – 370.

Opatrny E. (1972), «Ueber den Fund des Grassfrosches Rana temporaria Linnaeus, 1758 (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Nord-Mongolei», Vestn Ceskosl. Spolec. Zool., 36(4), 267 – 268.

Red Data Book of Mongolia (1997), Ulaanbaatar [in Mongolian].

Sevastyanov D. V. (1992), «Lakes as indicators of moisture fluctuations», in: Chelovek i Stikhiya [Man and Environment], Gidrometeoizdat, St. Petersburg, pp. 126 – 131 [in Russian].

Zarevskij S. (1930), «Zoological results of the expedition to Mongolia made by P. K. Kozlov in years 1924 – 1926. 2. Reptilia et Amphibia», Annu. Mus. Zool. Acad. Sci. Imp. St. Petersbourg, 31(2), 213 – 217.

Zolotokrylin A. N., Gunin P. D., Vinogradova V. V., and Bazha S. N. (2007), «Change of climate and condition of vegetation cover of Mongolia in the end of the 20th century», in: D. S. Pavlov and N. Ulzijkhutag (eds.), Ecosystems of the Inner Asia: Issues of Research and Conservation, KMK, Moscow, pp. 89 – 100 [in Russian].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email