California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide recovery plans for three distinct populations of California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) within the next five years, according to a statement put out by the Center for Biological Diversity detailing the settlement of a lawsuit that was filed by the Center on April 10, 2012.
The settlement sets a schedule that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will adhere to in an effort to create and develop recovery plans for the Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and central California populations of tiger salamanders, all three of which have been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 2000 (Santa Barbara), 2002 (Sonoma), and 2004 (central California). The center noted that the most threatened salamanders are the Sonoma county populations. Almost all of their known breeding sites are being converted to housing, office buildings, roads, and other urban-based developments. This is in addition to exotic predators that have taken a toll on the tiger salamander populations. Under the terms of the settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will create recovery plans for the Sonoma population by June of 2016, the Santa Barbara population by December 2016, and the central California population by June 2017.
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.