Species Profile

Eastern Tiger Salamander Carolinian population

Scientific Name: Ambystoma tigrinum
Taxonomy Group: Amphibians
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2012
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extirpated
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Reasons for extirpation | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Eastern Tiger Salamander

Description

Eastern Tiger Salamanders are robust mole salamanders and among the largest terrestrial salamanders in North America. Adults are primarily dark olive to grey or brown with lighter olive to yellow spots on the back and sides. The head is round when viewed from above, the eyes are relatively small, and the underside is dark with yellow blotches. The Eastern Tiger Salamander was recently recognized to be a separate species from other tiger salamanders based on genetic and morphological evidence. Thus much of the scientific literature on tiger salamanders does not distinguish the Eastern Tiger Salamander from what is now known as the Western (= Barred) Tiger Salamander, including its northern prairie subspecies, the Gray Tiger Salamander. (Updated 2017/08/31)

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Distribution and Population

In North America, Eastern Tiger Salamanders occur throughout most of the eastern United States. In Canada, Eastern Tiger Salamanders are known only from scattered locales in southeast Manitoba and from a historical (1915) record in extreme southern Ontario where the salamanders inhabit the Prairie and Carolinian Ecozones, respectively. These two populations represent separate postglacial range expansions into Canada and are considered separate designatable units. (Updated 2017/08/31)

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Habitat

Eastern Tiger Salamanders inhabit areas where sandy or friable (crumbly) soils surround fishless, semi-permanent or permanent water bodies that they use as breeding sites. These aquatic breeding sites are generally soft-bottomed, may or may not have abundant emergent vegetation, and must hold water at least for the 3 – 7 months needed for development until metamorphosis. Aquatic, neotenic adults (i.e., animals that retain larval form after sexual maturity) require fishless permanent wetlands. Terrestrial adult Eastern Tiger Salamanders burrow into deep friable soils using their forelimbs and tend to be associated with grasslands, savannas, and woodland edges adjacent to breeding sites and less so with closed canopy forests. (Updated 2017/08/31)

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Biology

Eastern Tiger Salamanders living in northern locales breed in wetlands following warm spring rains within a few weeks of ice-off. To reach these breeding sites, adults migrate from terrestrial overwintering sites. Females lay clusters of darkly pigmented eggs below the surface of the water. Males reach sexual maturity in 2 years and females in 3 to 5 years. The generation time is approximately 5 years. Eastern Tiger Salamanders are visually oriented “sit and wait” predators and feed on a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, tadpoles, and other salamanders. In turn, they serve as prey for predators such as fishes and invertebrates, garter snakes, and crows. (Updated 2017/08/31)

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Reasons for extirpation

There are no recent records of the Eastern Tiger Salamander from Ontario. There are recent records of the species from only one site in Manitoba, where its population sizes and trends are unknown. Studies conducted elsewhere indicate that Eastern Tiger Salamander populations are subject to fluctuations in abundance and are in decline in the mid-western and southeastern United States. (Updated 2017/08/31)

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Eastern Tiger Salamander Ambystoma tigrinum in Canada (2014)

    Eastern Tiger Salamanders are robust mole salamanders and among the largest terrestrial salamanders in North America. Adults are primarily dark olive to grey or brown with lighter olive to yellow spots on the back and sides. The head is round when viewed from above, the eyes are relatively small, and the underside is dark with yellow blotches. The Eastern Tiger Salamander was recently recognized to be a separate species from other tiger salamanders based on genetic and morphological evidence. Thus much of the scientific literature on tiger salamanders does not distinguish the Eastern Tiger Salamander from what is now known as the Western (= Barred) Tiger Salamander, including its northern prairie subspecies, the Gray Tiger Salamander.

Response Statements

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2017)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2017)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances). Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report – 2012-2013 (2013)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2012 to September 2013) from November 25 to November 30, 2012 and from April 28 to May 3, 2013. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 73 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 2 Endangered: 28 Threatened: 19 Special Concern: 19 Data Deficient: 4 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 73 Of the 73 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 50 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act : Terrestrial Species - January 2015 (2015)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments byApril 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website