Ensatina eschscholtzii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Ensatina eschscholtzii
Species Authority: Gray, 1850
Common Name(s):
English Ensatina, Eschscholtz Salamander, Common Ensatina, Eschscholtz's Salamander, Redwood Salamander
Ensatina croceater (Cope, 1868)
Ensatina klauberi Dunn, 1929
Ensatina platensis (Jiménez de la Espada, 1875)
Ensatina sierrae Storer, 1929
Heredia oregonensis Girard, 1856
Plethodon croceater Cope, 1868
Plethodon eschscholtzii (Gray, 1850)
Plethodon oregonensis (Girard, 1856)
Plethodon platensis (Jiménez de la Espada, 1875)
Urotropis platensis Jiménez de la Espada, 1875
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: This polytypic, ring species includes taxa that form a semicomplex of more than one species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): García Aguayo, A., Frost, D., Wake, D., Parra-Olea, G., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivera Téllez, E., Hobin, L. & Ramírez, R.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of sub-populations and localities, and presumed large population size.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from southwestern British Columbia in Canada, south through the Coastal Ranges of the USA to extreme northwestern Baja California and the Sierra San Pedro Martir and Sierra Juárez (Mahrdt et al. 1998, Stebbins 2003, D. Frost pers. comm 2014, A. Peralta pers. comm. 2014); and along the western slopes of Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada in California in the USA. It is absent from Sacramento-San Joaquin valley, California. It occurs as a large number of subspecies. Elevational range extends from sea level to about 3,350 m asl (Stebbins 2003). See Moritz et al. (1992) for a general but up-to-date distribution map.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); Mexico (Baja California); United States (California, Oregon, Washington)
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2350
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the USA and Canada the total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 100,000. Its population appears to be stable. It is a rare species in Mexico; there have been only a few observations, but they are still found.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In the north, this species can be found in Douglas-fir/maple forests and forest clearings. In coastal areas, it inhabits redwood forest, chaparral, oak woodland, canyons. In the Sierra Nevada, habitats include pine-oak-incense cedar forests. In dry or cold weather these salamanders stay in caves, underground, or in or under rotting logs. Eggs are laid underground, or under the bark of or within rotting logs (Stebbins 2003), where they develop directly without a larval stage. The subspecies E. e. klauberi lives in mixed conifer forest and lays its eggs on the ground.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is sold online in the USA. The  species' price is about $30 USD. This is not a significant threat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In moist climates, species of this genus tolerate intensive forestry practices fairly well, but in drier climates recently logged areas have lower population densities than old growth forests, presumably reflecting moisture differences (Petranka 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas, which are thought to provide protection for 31-40% of the population. The subspecies E. e. klauberi occurs in the Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park in Mexico. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Ensatina eschscholtzii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59260A53979540. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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