The California Tiger Salamander has been hard hit by habitat loss and road mortalities. Until recently however, the salamanders were afforded very few legal protections, due in large part to a strong lobby from agriculture groups and land developers. After 454 Save The Frogs Supporters sent letters to the California Fish & Game Commission urging their assistance, the Commission voted 3-2 on March 3rd, 2010 to protect the Tiger Salamanders under the state Endangered Species Act. This represents a major step forward in the conservation of the species.
In order to further protect this species, amphibian biologist Pete Trenham, Ph.D. held a workshop yesterday about the ecology and natural history of the California Tiger Salamander. Over 30 biologists, land managers, and others attended this workshop to better understand this special salamander. The workshop also detailed the survey protocols required to work with this endangered species. SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey assisted Dr. Peter Trenham with the workshop.
This California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense, is going through the amazing process of metamorphosis. This salamander started life with gills and can now breath oxygen through its lungs. Can you see the remnants of the gills behind the head? Amazing!