Toxicity of pesticides to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians and occurrence, habitat use and exposure of amphibian species in agricultural environments

Amphibian, risk-assessment, pesticide, toxicity, exposure, aquatic, terrestrial
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
20 septembre 2012
14 septembre 2012
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusively by the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


The aim of this study was to provide EFSA with information relating to assessment of the risk to amphibians posed by pesticide exposure. In the first part of the study the European amphibian species associated with agricultural habitats were identified with the aim of collating information for representative species such as body size and life-cycle. Also collated were the results of studies of amphibians in European agricultural habitats to provide information on activity in areas where they may be at risk of exposure to pesticides. Several studies of the use of agricultural habitats were found providing information on migration distances and associations with particular crops although the data is patchy. The second part of the study collated information useful to risk assessment for terrestrial habitats. Information was presented on possible assessment of dietary exposure but methods for estimating dermal exposure have not yet been developed due to lack of necessary information. Other routes of exposure such as soil ingestion and inhalation were considered but no methods specific to amphibians were found. Finally, toxicity data for both the aquatic and terrestrial stages were gathered for comparison with fish and bird/mammal data respectively. A substantial quantity of data was found for aquatic exposure and after quality assessment data for each time period were presented. Far less information was found for terrestrial amphibians and what is available is of variable quality. More information is required to allow the assesment of exposure, particularly dermal exposure and the relative toxicity of pesticides to terrestrial amphibians and other vertebrate groups.

Question Number
On request from