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Mole Salamanders: Ambystomatidae

Conservation Status

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists eight species of mole salamanders as Critically Endangered, two as Endangered, three as Vulnerable, and one as Low Risk/Near Threatened. Critically Endangered means facing extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Endangered means facing very high risk of extinction in the wild. Vulnerable means facing high risk of extinction in the wild. Low Risk/Near Threatened means at risk of becoming threatened with extinction in the future.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists two species of mole salamanders as Endangered and two species as Threatened. Endangered means in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Threatened means likely to become endangered in the near future.


In 2004 the eastern tiger salamander was chosen by schoolchildren to be the official state amphibian of Illinois.

Large numbers of mole salamanders crossing roads to and from their breeding ponds sometimes are killed by cars. In New York State an underpass was built to help these salamanders. The main dangers to mole salamanders are loss of their land and water habitats, the introduction of predatory fish that eat the salamander larvae, and, possibly, a fungus disease. Mole salamander species that do not go through metamorphosis are especially at risk because they spend their entire lives in a single lake, where introduced fish, pollution, and draining can endanger an entire species.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansMole Salamanders: Ambystomatidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Tiger Salamander (ambystoma Tigrinum): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MOLE SALAMANDERS AND PEOPLE