color photo of black salamanders with yellow spots on rocks amongst leaf litter
Spotted Salamanders


An estimated 29 species of Amphibians, from the orders Caudata (Salamanders) and Anura (Frogs and Toads), exist within the borders of Buffalo National River. Efforts to locate and document all of the amphibian species, and discover new species, are currently underway.

Since amphibians, with some exceptions, require a watery environment to reproduce, most of these species can be found in and near the river's edge. Some ephemeral aquatic habitats may be found high on the mountaintops creating a unique environment resembling a lowland environment found in other ecoregions of Arkansas. These habitats exist only in spring so that species which rely on them for reproduction must act very quickly.

Toads are not required to have hydrated skin to supplement respiration. They tend to range further from the mesic conditions required by their close relatives, the frogs.

color photo of Fowler Toad nearly invisible amongst leaf litter
Fowler Toad in leaf litter


A spreadsheet of the amphibians and reptiles in the park is available here. This spreadsheet indicates the relative abundance of each species.

Most resident species of amphibians are relatively abundant. The habitats associated with karst features are an intricate part of the river and are fundamentally important to special requirements of many species of amphibians. The ringed salamander, grotto salamander, and wood frog are recognized by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission as species in need of special protection. At present the leading causes for concern in the Buffalo River Watershed are extraction of forest products, chemical applications to surrounding agricultural developments, and the siltation and pollution associated with those practices.

Habitat Key
The following symbols have been used to indicate the type of habitat where reptiles and amphibians can be found:

C Cave and mine
O Old fields
S Spring and seep
R River
P Pond
G Glade
U Upland Forest

Amphibian Checklist

Category Species Habitat
Toads & Frogs Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchari) S, P, R
Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) P
Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana) P, R
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) O, U
Bronze Frog (Rana clamitans clamitans) S, P, R
Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota) P, R
Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris) C, S
S. Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephela) P, O
Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) C, S, P
Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) S, P
Fowler's Toad (Bufo fowleri) O
Dwarf American Toad (Bufo americanus charlesmithi) O
Salamanders & Newts Central Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) P
Grotto Salamander (Typhlotriton spelaeus) C, S
Zigzag Salamander (Plethodon angusticlavius) C, S, U
Western Slimy Salamander (Plethodon albagula) C, S, U
Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga) C, S
Dark Sided Salamander (Eurycea longicauda melanopleura) C, S
Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) P
Ringed Salamander (Amystoma annulatum) P
Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) R
Gray-Bellied Salamander (Eurycea multiplicata griseogaster) C, S

Last updated: December 11, 2017

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