Blotched Tiger Salamander

Ambystoma mavortium melanostictum

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Status

Endangered (Federal)
Red List (Provincial)

Description

Blotched Tiger Salamanders are 14 cm to 25 cm in length, have unwebbed, pointy toes, and a variety of yellowish-green brown mottled skin colourations. Young individuals have creamy or pale yellow blotches on a dark green-grey background. As the salamander ages, the colouring reverses, with the dark green-grey becoming blochey pr barred and the cramy yellow reducing to a background colour. The belly is dark grey.

Habitat

Wetland
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Grassland
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Riparian
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In the Okanagan, Tiger Salamanders can inhabit open fields and rough ground, upland meadows, grasslands, semi-deserts and deserts, however they require several key features in those habitats, including loose soil for burrowing, semi-permanent to permanent fish-free water bodies for breeding, and possibly small mammal burrows for daily cover and suitable over-wintering sites.

Blotched Tiger Salamanders can be found from Osoyoos to Summerland.

Threats

-Predation and disease transmission from invasive species (e.g. American Bullfrogs)
-Stocking wetlands/ponds with non-native fish
-Loss of wetland habitat through destruction, modification, draining and channalization
-Wetland destruction and contamination from development, invasive plants, and chemical runoff
-Habitat fragmentation, causing species isolation and an increasing risk of road mortality
-Livestock trampling and erosion of banks around wetlands
-Swimming pools with unprotected circulation pumps
-Compaction of soil through urban development, agricultural practices (eg grazing and tilling), and recreational activities (ATV).

You Can Help!

-Never move amphibians or fish from one pond to another to prevent disease spread.
-Protect wetlands from development, livestock, and fish stocking
-Remove invasive species that may carry disease and/or prey on tadpoles(e.g. Bullfrogs, Goldfish)
-Reduce wetland exposure to contaminants and pollution (e.g. increase vegetation buffers)
-Protect remaining wetlands and terrestrial habitat (e.g. grasslands and forested areas)
-For swimming pools install floating ramps like the Frog Log (TM) for escape
-Maintain natural sandy soils and vegetation instead of installing sod, gravel, or pavement
-Prevent over-grazing, which causes soil compaction, and prevents the salamander from burying itself in to the ground

Photo: Doreen Olson
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Photo: Alyson Skinner
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Photo: Alyson Skinner
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