Ambystoma ordinarium 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Ambystomatidae

Scientific Name: Ambystoma ordinarium Taylor, 1940
Common Name(s):
English Michoacan Stream Salamander, Michoacan Stream Siredon, Puerto Hondo Stream Salamander
Ambystoma ordinaria Taylor, 1940
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Based on allozymes and mtDNA, this is one of the most distinct species of Mexican ambystomatids. It was previously thought to be a species complex, however this was resolved by Weisrock et al. (2006) and this is not the case.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-09-11
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J.
Contributor(s): Shaffer, H.B., Wake, D., Parra-Olea, G., Flores-Villela, O., Arias Caballero, P. & Aguilar, X.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Sharp, D., Garcia Moreno, J. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is 4,384 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline, from the same threats that were reported in 2004, in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in north-eastern Michoacan, in the number of sub-populations and mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the north-eastern parts of the state of Michoacan, from Morelia to the south and east to El Mirador and nearby localities in Mexico, at altitudes between 2,400-2,900 m asl. It has an extent of occurrence of 4,384 km2 and an area of occupancy of 4,283 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (México Distrito Federal, Michoacán)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4283.24
Lower elevation limit (metres):2400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In 1999 it was found to be abundant in several localities, with many populations appearing to be stable. Surveys undertaken since 2004 indicate that the population is very fragmented and declining, with the species disappearing from some localities where it used to occur.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits streams in pastureland, as well as in forests, so it is unlikely to be forest-dependent. They appear to favour clear water, but they have been found in very cloudy water, and behind small dams constructed for livestock. This is thought to be a metamorphic species. Most of the animals spend the majority of their time in streams, where they can be found all year round.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is consumed due to its believed medicinal properties, however this is unlikely to occur on a large scale due to its rarity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to this species reported in 2004 are still ongoing and include habitat loss and degradation due to smallholder farming, infrastructure development, groundwater extraction (resulting in desiccation of its breeding streams) and pollution. Invasive predatory fish species such as Oreochromis aureusO. mossambicusO. nilcoticus and Cyprinus carpio are also a threat to native amphibian species (P.A. Caballero pers. comm. August 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in Bosencheve National Park and is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr). 

Conservation Needed
There is a need for forest restoration surrounding the city of Morelia and in the vicinity of Patzcuaro. Improved management of the aquatic habitat, including reduced levels of pollution and control of invasive and introduced species, is a priority. 

Research Needed
A monitoring program to follow the population trends is recommended in addition to further research in to the taxonomy of the species.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Ambystoma ordinarium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59066A53974247. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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