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: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A., Parra-Olea, G. & Wake, D.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
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, Baja California in Mexico (Mahrdt et al. 1998); 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 separate subspecies. The subspecies E. e. klauberi occurs in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico, above 2,000m asl. It occurs from sea level up to elevations of about 2,350m asl (Stebbins 1985). See Moritz et al. (1992) for a general but up-to-date distribution map.
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Mexico; United States
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: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species can be found in the north: Douglas-fir/maple forests, forest clearings. In coastal areas, redwood forest, chaparral, oak woodland, canyons. Sierra Nevada: pine-oak-incense cedar forests. In dry or cold weather: in caves, underground, in rotting logs. Eggs are laid underground, or under the bark of or within rotting logs (Stebbins 1985), where they develop directly without a larval stage. E. e. klauberi lives in mixed conifer forest and lays its eggs on the ground.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In moist climates, ensatinas tolerate intensive forestry practices fairly well, but in drier climates recently logged areas have lower population densities than do old growth forests, presumably reflecting moisture differences (see Petranka 1998). In Mexico the nominate subspecies is probably heavily impacted by the loss of habitat as a result of the development and expansion of vineyards.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None needed. It occurs in many protected areas. E. e. klauberi occurs in the Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).

Citation: Hammerson, G.A., Parra-Olea, G. & Wake, D. 2008. Ensatina eschscholtzii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T59260A11907673. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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