Pseudoeurycea aquatica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Pseudoeurycea aquatica Wake & Campbell, 2001
Common Name(s):
English Aquatic Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-11-30
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J.
Contributor(s): Wake, D., Parra-Olea, G. & Rovito, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L. & Arias Caballero, P.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10 km2, all individuals are known from a single location and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat around Totontepec, Mexico. This species is thought to be possibly extinct as it has not been seen since 1978.
Date last seen: 1978
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only known from Totontepec in central-eastern Oaxaca, Mexico, at 2,500 m asl, It occurs in one threat-defined location and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 10 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Mexico (Oaxaca - Native)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is known from only three specimens collected in 1978. There have been many subsequent, unsuccessful searches for it, and it is likely to be extinct.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is the only known aquatic plethodontid salamander in Mesoamerica, occurring in the plunge pools of streams in cloud forest. It presumably reproduces by direct development.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The cloud forest habitat of this species has been completely destroyed at the type locality due to wood extraction, farming, and human settlement. The resulting degradation of streams due to burned debris has probably also contributed to the species' disappearance. Introduced predatory fish (trout species) could also be a potential threat; their presence has been documented in this species' habitat and they are known to be very detrimental to other populations of aquatic salamanders (Lamoreux et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It is not known from any protected areas. 

Research Needed
Further distribution survey work is needed to establish whether or not this species might survive in the wild outside its only known locality.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Pseudoeurycea aquatica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59369A53981096. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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