Blotched Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) is a relatively large (adults 20 cm or longer) North American, heavy-bodied amphibian with a characteristic colour pattern of large yellow or whitish blotches, on both the sides and back, on a black or grey background. Aquatic larvae are olive-green with large heads and long feathery gills that are longer than their heads. Under certain circumstances (five known wetlands in British Columbia), some individuals remain permanently aquatic, becoming very large (~ 33 cm) and sexually mature while retaining the larval body form, including gills, through a process termed ?neoteny.? These adults continue to inhabit permanent wetlands throughout their lives.
This species occurs in south-central British Columbia in three geographic areas: Okanagan - Similkameen, Midway and Grand Forks. Tiger salamanders breed in both permanent and temporary lakes and ponds. Metamorphosed juveniles and adults depend on terrestrial habitats, including arid grassland, shrub?steppe, and open ponderosa pine or Douglas-fir forests, where they spend most of their time underground often in rodent burrows. Their active season is from March through October.
The overall province-wide threat impact for this species is High to Very High. This overall threat impact considers the cumulative impacts of multiple threats. Threats include direct harm and habitat fragmentation from roads, predation from non-native species (fish, amphibians), disease-causing organisms, pollution, agricultural activities causing habitat loss and pollution, housing and urban area development, dams and water management, and climate change (drought).
The Blotched Tiger Salamander was designated as Endangered in British Columbia by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) because of its small area of occupancy, severely fragmented population, declines in habitat quality, and impacts by serious threats. It is referred to as Western Tiger Salamander, Southern Mountain population, in COSEWIC documents. It is listed, under its former name Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), as Endangered in Canada under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. The Blotched Tiger Salamander is ranked S2 (Imperiled/Red-listed) by the Conservation Data Centre and Priority 2 under Goal 3 of the B.C. Conservation Framework. It also is listed under the Forest and Range Practices Act, Identified Wildlife Management Strategy, as a species that requires special management attention to address the impacts of forest and range activities. It is protected under British Columbia?s Wildlife Act from capture and killing. Recovery is considered to be biologically and technically feasible.
The recovery goal is to maintain or increase the abundance of Blotched Tiger Salamander in each of the three geographic areas where it occurs and to ensure connectivity within these areas.
The following objectives are necessary to conserve the Blotched Tiger Salamander in the short term (next 5 years).
1. Secure core habitat (breeding wetlands and associated terrestrial habitat) for Blotched Tiger Salamander in each of the three geographic areas that it occupies. 2. Maintain or increase connectivity across the landscape within and among adjacent known subpopulations1.
3. Address knowledge gaps, such as: distribution, habitat requirements, population structure and biological processes across the landscape, water use and declining water tables, climate change, road mortality, disease, pollution, pesticides and herbicides, invasive species, and effectiveness of recovery actions.
Southern Interior Reptile and Amphibian Working Group. 2016. Recovery Plan for the Blotched Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) in British Columbia. Province of British Columbia. BC Recovery Strategy (Species at Risk)
Topic: Recovery Planning
Scientific Name: Ambystoma mavortium
English Name: Blotched Tiger Salamander
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