The California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) is endemic to California and occurs in three Distinct Population Segments (DPSs): one smaller DPS in Santa Barbara County and one in Sonoma County, and a larger DPS throughout central California (see Home Range and Critical Habitat map below).
The California tiger salamander requires seasonal or semi-permanent wetlands, such as vernal pools or livestock ponds, for breeding. Occupied habitat includes several breeding pools interspersed among large tracts of grassland, oak woodland, or oak savanna that the species uses for dispersal and migration. After leaving the pool they are born in, California tiger salamanders spend the majority of there life in the surrounding upland habitat utilizing underground burrow networks created by California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi) and Botta’s pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae). Adults are rarely observed above ground, and leave the burrows in a mass migration during a few rainy nights a year to return to breeding pools, typically between November and April.
ENDANGERED – Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County DPSs
- Sonoma County DPS
- Santa Barbara County DPS
THREATENED – Central California DPS
- Central California DPS
THREATENED in California throughout its range.
- Interim Guidance on Site Assessment and Field Surveys for Determining Presence or a Negative Finding of the California Tiger Salamander October 2003