Amphibian and Reptile Species of Special Concern in California

Type: report

Article abstract: Data on 80 amphibian and reptile taxa native to the State of California were reviewed. All taxa potentially candidates for State or Federal "Threatened" or "Endangered" species listing were examined. Review of available data revealed that 48 of these 80 taxa warranted listing at some level. Data for review were assembled from individuals having field experience with each taxon, available literature, museum records, unpublished field notes, field surveys, and archival records. Review was directed at determining if available data could establish whether threats existed, identifying the nature of those threats, suggesting directions that individuals or agencies involved in management of these taxa could take to minimize those threats, and providing a recommendation of the appropriate status for each taxon or portions of each taxon based on these collective data. Status was identified as one of four categories the State of California currently recognizes: Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern, and no official status. Status was prioritized on the basis of the presence, complexity, and imminence of existing or potential threats to each taxon as well as their distribut10ns, both geographic and within California.

Number of pages: 259

Authors: Jennings, Mark; Hayes, Mark;

Day: 1

Month: November

Year: 1994

Purpose: The intent of this document was to consider amphibians and reptiles in California that were not provided legal protection other than, for some, the limited protection afforded species with Special Concern status, but that might require reconsideration of their status for various reasons. Just the nature of assembling data for such a synthesis is complex. Vast differences in the current state of knowledge among taxa and the fact that most data needed to interpret the status of each were broadly scattered across varied sources contributed to this complexity. Very early during the process of data assimilation, it became apparent that too few data were available for some amphibians and reptiles to provide comprehensive reviews of their status. We have, nevertheless, reviewed available data on those taxa, if for no other reason than that the gaps in current knowledge need emphasis. The combination of limited data on many species; the continuing rapid, human induced changes in many California environments; and the continual appearance of new data indicated that the most useful form that this document could take is one that could be readily modified. In particular, it should facilitate incorporating new data, an essential element of future reviews. We have attempted to structure the document with this idea in mind. We hope that it will induce students of the California herpetofauna to fill the essential data gaps so that those exercising stewardship over habitats in which these amphibians and reptiles occur can refine their management plans, and that consultants, legislators, planners, and others will be better advised or give sound advice where it relates to the biology and ecology of these organisms.

Prepared for: California Department of Fish and Game;

Keywords: amphibians; reptiles;

Species: Red-legged frog; Orange-throated Whiptail; Coast range newt; Two-striped garter snake; Red diamond rattlesnake; Arroyo toad