Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Ambystomatidae

Scientific Name: Ambystoma gracile
Species Authority: (Baird, 1857)
Common Name(s):
English Northwestern Salamander
Siredon gracilis Baird, 1857
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found from the Pacific coast of North America from extreme southeastern Alaska south through western Canada and northwestern U.S. to the Gualala River, California. It occurs from sea level to about 3,110m asl (Stebbins 1985).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and possibly exceeds 100,000. Its' populations appear to be stable.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in open grassland, woodland, and forest near breeding ponds. Non-paedomorphic adults are underground most of the year. During the breeding season, they often are found under rocks and logs. Larvae have been reported to be restricted to shallow areas in lakes with fishes. Adult and larval northwestern salamanders are distasteful to fishes and bullfrogs, allowing coexistence (Leonard et al. 1993). Eggs are laid in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams; usually attached to vegetation in shallows (Blaustein et al. 1995) or deeper water (e.g., 0.5-1.0m below water surface) (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): A major threat is probably the removal of forest surrounding ponds and small lakes. Ambient ultraviolet radiation causes increased mortality of eggs (compared to UV-B-shielded eggs) (Blaustein et al. 1995), but natural oviposition sites often might not be subject to damaging levels of UV. Experimental data indicate that larvae are negatively impacted by the presence of trout (Tyler et al. 1998), yet salamanders and trout coexist in some areas (Leonard et al. 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Needed conservation measures include maintaining forested conditions in areas within at least 200-250m of breeding sites. Also, regulatory agencies should attempt to minimize forest fragmentation.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Ambystoma gracile. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59057A11877055. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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