Effects of climate change on California tiger salamanders in the Central Valley
California’s Central Valley supports over 20 endemic, special-status species associated with vernal pools and seasonal wetlands, yet loss of 90% of the original extent of these habitats has resulted in highly-fragmented, remnant pools of varying habitat quality. Managers need science support to inform conservation priorities and possible enhancement of remaining pools, particularly since projected increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation may dry ponds to an extent that reduces or precludes their habitat value.
This project will examine the pool characteristics (pond duration and timing, water quality, turbidity) and upland characteristics (habitat type, soil type, dry matter) related with occupancy of pools by California tiger salamander larvae and metamorphs at a local scale comprised of both private (Conservation Bank) and public (FWS Refuge) lands.
The effort focuses on the San Joaquin Valley portion of California’s Central Valley since this area is lacking scientific studies on California tiger salamander, yet is under substantial threat since the majority of remaining vernal pool habitats occur on private lands.