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Assessment Results

Ambystoma altamirani

Mountain Stream Siredon


Order: Caudata Family: Ambystomatidae
Synonym(s): Rhyacosiredon altamirani, Rhyacosiredon zempoalaensis

Assessed for: Mexico   on: 30 Jul 2020   by: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop
Authors (only use if more than one author. Format: Jones, A.B., Smith, C.D., and Brown, E.F.):
IUCN Global Red List: Endangered (EN)
National Red List: (not assessed)
Distribution: Mexico
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score: 17.5217892
© 2014 Dr. Joachim Nerz (1 of 8)

Recommended Conservation Actions:

Additional Comments:: Proactive, precautionary steps should be taken to detect the arrival of Bsal in Mexico through the swabbing of both wild and imported salamanders, in addition to a total ban on the importation of non-native salamanders (Mexico Red List Assessment Workshop October 2019).

Question # Short Name Question Text Response Comments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Endangered (EN)
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). ED value < 20
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a well-managed or reliably protected area or areas? No / unlikely Occurs in a number of subpopulations in the Sierra de las Cruces, which lies to the west and south of the valley of Mexico, in the states of Morelos, México, and México City. This species is known to occur in protected areas, including PN Lagunas de Zempoala and the Chichinautzin Biological Corridor, but these are not well-managed.
5 Habitat for reintroduction, conservation translocation or supplementation Does enough well-managed and reliably protected habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for conservation translocation, including population restoration or conservation introduction? No / unlikely
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 In situ conservation activities Are any in situ conservation actions currently in place for this species? (Only required if a Red List Assessment has not been completed, or if new actions have been implemented since the last Red List Assessment. (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.). No / unlikely
8 In situ conservation activities Are additional in situ conservation actions required to help conserve this species in the wild (e.g. habitat restoration and/or protection, control of invasive species, national legislation etc.)? Yes / probably There is an urgent need for enforced protection of the forest and streams on which this species depends, including the control of introduced predatory fishes. Improved management of water resources are also needed, including pollution clean up and control of invasive species. A tighter control of tourism activities is another priority, as these seem to have a large impact in the area where this species occurs. Proactive, precautionary steps should be taken to detect the arrival of Bsal in Mexico through the swabbing of both wild and imported salamanders, in addition to a total ban on the importation of non-native salamanders (Mexico Red List Assessment Workshop October 2019). Implementation of the protected area management plan is a priority.
9 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Yes New field surveys are required to assess declines that may have occurred in the last 15 years.
10 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats unlikely to be reversed in time to prevent further decline / extinction The forest and stream habitat of this species in the vicinity of México City has been severely altered and degraded. Illegal logging in national parks (Lagunas de Zempoala), very heavy recreational tourism, along with the effects of expanding human habitation, such as stream pollution and sedimentation, and stream diversion have all had negative impacts on this species. All of the aforementioned threats, initially reported in the 2004 assessment, are ongoing as of 2019. In addition, some lagoons where the species was historically found have dried out or are in the process of drying out, and introduced predatory fishes (Oncorhynchus mykiss and others) have eliminated the species from many streams (Estrella-Zamora et al. 2018)
11 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No / unlikely Although it was formerly consumed locally, but apparently this tradition has changed as the flavour of the salamanders has changed due to the conditions in the area (X. Aguilar pers. comm. Red List Assessment Workshop June 2014).
12 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Yes / probably In 2004, this species was reported to have been formerly common with a population that had been greatly reduced, estimating a past decline of at least 50% in the previous ten years or three generations. Since 2004, the population has continued to decline across its range due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, and mortalities of eggs, juveniles and mature individuals caused by non-native invasive trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and other species. However, the rate of decline is unknown and the population is not thought to be severely fragmented.
13 Action plans Does an Action Plan for the species already exist, or is one currently being developed? No
14 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
15 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
16 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.) e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science? No research dependent on this species
17 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
18 Ex situ conservation activities Is any ex situ research or other ex situ conservation action currently in place for this species? (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.) No / unlikely
19 Husbandry analog required If an ex situ rescue program is recommended for this species, would an analog species be required to develop husbandry protocols first? No / unlikely
20 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? No
21 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Not held in captivity to date
22 Conservation education/ecotourism potential Is the species especially diurnal, active or colourful, or is there an interesting or unusual aspect of its ecology that make it particularly suitable to be an educational ambassador for conservation of the species in the range country, either in zoos or aquariums or within ecotourism activities? Yes
23 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
24 Range State approval If an ex situ initiative was proposed for this species, would it be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
25 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate an ex situ program, if one was recommended? Yes / probably
26 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes

Citation: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop. 2020. Conservation Needs Assessment for Ambystoma altamirani, Mexico.
https://conservationneeds.org/Assessment/AssessmentResults?assessmentId=18&countryId=91&speciesId=5489. Accessed 28 Jul 2021