Ambystoma dumerilii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ambystoma dumerilii
Species Authority: (Dugès, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Lake Patzcuaro Salamander
Spanish Achoque
Amblystoma dumerili (Cope, 1889)
Bathysiredon dumerilii (Dunn, 1939)
Bathysiredon dumerilii subspecies queretarensis Maldonado-Koerdell, 1948
Siredon dumerilii Dugès, 1870
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomic validity of this species is now well accepted (H.B. Shaffer pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Shaffer, H.B., Flores-Villela, O., Parra-Olea, G. & Wake, D.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2 and its Area Of Occupancy is less than 10km2, all individuals are in a single sub-population, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and in the extent and quality of its habitat in and around Patzcuaro Lake.
1996 Not Evaluated
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from Lago Pátzcuaro in north-western Michoacan, Mexico, at 1,920m asl, and has not been recorded from other localities.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is believed to be in very serious decline, and might be close to extinction. Recent declines in the catch by local fishermen seem to indicate a severe population crash (information from 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species does not metamorphose and lives permanently in water. It has a winter breeding season. No field studies of any other aspect of the ecology of the species have been conducted.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Recent declines in the number of animals harvested (reported in 2003) suggest that the level of offtake is not sustainable.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The filling and pollution of the only lake that the species inhabits is the major threat to its survival. The lake is an important area for local fisheries. Predatory fish have been introduced into the lake, which might be a major problem for the species, although it has been able to co-exist with such species for a long time. The animals are harvested both for human consumption and for medicinal purposes (they are supposed to be a cure for respiratory problems).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It does not occur in any protected area, and conservation of its remaining habitat is urgent. This species has been bred in captivity, and so captive animals could be a source of new individuals to repopulate natural habitats. Studies are needed to evaluate the sustainability of the current harvest, as well as the impacts of introduced predatory fishes. This latter information is particularly important since A. dumerilii is unique among aquatic ambystomatids in its apparent long-term coexistence with introduced largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) for the last 60 years. This species is protected under the category Pr (Special protection) by the Government of Mexico. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Shaffer, H.B., Flores-Villela, O., Parra-Olea, G. & Wake, D. 2008. Ambystoma dumerilii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 02 April 2015.
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