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USFWS Sued For Lack Of California Tiger Salamander Recovery Plan

Lack of plan further imperils Ambystoma californiense, conservation group says.

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The California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), a protected species under the Endangered Species Act is supposed to be the beneficiary of a recovery plan to ensure its survival. However, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to implement a recovery plan for the salamander. The conservation group today filed a lawsuit against the USFWS for failing to develop and implement a recovery plan for the amphibian.

“If the government is serious about saving the California tiger salamander, it needs to stop dragging its feet and get to work on developing a roadmap for the animal’s recovery,” Collette Adkins Giese, an attorney at the Center said in a prepared statement. “Every day without a recovery plan is a day these rare salamanders are left without the help they badly need.”


Currently, there are three distinct populations of tiger salamanders in the state that are protected under the Endangered Species Act. They reside in Central California, Santa Barbara and Sonoma County, and none have a recovery plan in place, as required by law when animals are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The California tiger salamander lives in grassland habitat as well as valley-foothill and hardwood areas. It can be found in the northern California counties of Petaluma, Sonoma, the Central Valley, Yolo, Sacramento, Tulare, the San Francisco bay area, and Santa Barbara counties. It feeds on earthworms, snails, insects, small fish and even small mammals such as mice.