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Amphibian Essentials

Everything You Need to Know to Help Protect Alaska’s Amphibians

1. It is usually best to not handle the amphibians you find and just to leave them where they are. If you must pick them up however, you should be aware that their skin is delicate and permeable. Make sure that you have clean hands when you pick them up – this means NO BUG SPRAY and NO SUNSCREEN! Put them down gently after you have held them in the exact location that you found them!

2. Never transport an amphibian to a new location! This can lead to the spread of diseases that kill amphibians and alter the genes of the entire population!

3. When possible, clean and disinfect your boots and waders when you get home. Some amphibian diseases can be spread on footwear from site to site. For a list of AHS recommended supplies and instructions for decontamination, CLICK HERE.

4. Never keep a native amphibian as a pet. This is not only illegal but amphibians are already in peril. Each one that you take from the wild is one less that can breed and produce young.

5. If you already have a native amphibian at home as a pet, do not release it into the wild! It may have picked up bacteria, fungi, and diseases that can be spread to other amphibians in the wild!

6. NEVER release a purchased or won amphibian into the wild! Most of these are exotic species that do not naturally occur in Alaska. Non-native species compete for the same resources as native species and in some cases they are even aggressive toward them! This is among the greatest problems facing amphibians. Either keep them for their entire lives or find them a good home. NEVER RELEASE A PET AMPHIBIAN INTO THE WILD!

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