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California tiger salamander is FINALLY protected

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 6:43 am in Amphibians, California tiger salamander.

California tiger salamander (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

I received the following information from the Center for Biological Diversity’s weekly e-newsletter for March 11:

On March 3 … “the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 to protect the imperiled California tiger salamander under the state’s Endangered Species Act.

“The sensitive salamander depends on seasonal ponds, or vernal pools, for breeding — but these pools have proven ephemeral in more ways than one. In recent decades, 95 percent of California’s vernal pools has been lost to development — as has at least 75 percent of the species’ habitat across the state.

California tiger salamander (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

“Due to efforts by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, three populations of the California tiger salamander have been protected under the federal Endangered Species Act for years. But California Fish and Game denied the salamander state protection in 2004, falsely claiming that the Center’s petition didn’t have enough data. A judge overturned that move in 2008, after the Center sued, giving the salamander a new chance at the additional protections it needs.”

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Score a BIG ONE for the California tiger salamander! When I was a kid, I used to find these beautiful little amphibians in my Walnut Creek, CA, backyard. Now you’re incredibly lucky to see one anywhere in the state, ever! /Gary

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