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Assessment Results

Chiropterotriton magnipes

Big-footed Salamander, Bigfoot Splayfoot Salamander

Order: Caudata Family: Plethodontidae

Assessed for: Mexico   on: 01 Jun 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: 25.51745398
© 1982 David Wake (1 of 27)

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) Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 516 km2, it occurs in five or fewer threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and the number of mature individuals and extant subpopulations. New information has been found relating to the distribution of this species, thereby expanding its known range, and increasing the EOO beyond the Critically Endangered threshold.
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 - 50
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 This species is known from the Sierra Madre Oriental in southeastern San Luis Potosí, northeastern Querétaro and extreme northern Hidalgo. The subpopulation in Hidalgo is in Parque Nacional los Marmoles and the localities near El Lobo, Querétaro are within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
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 Improved protection efforts are required in Parque Nacional los Marmoles, and protection of the original habitat (both of the caves and the surrounding forest) is urgently needed. Samples from the caves in San Luis Potosi tested negative for Bd and therefore should be protected and access should be restricted to prevent its arrival (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019).
9 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Yes More survey work is needed to evaluate the population size, distribution, and trend of this species
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 Deforestation for wood extraction and the expansion of small-scale agriculture are a major threat to this species. The removal of the forest habitat from areas above caves causes the caves to dry out, resulting in the apparent disappearance of most of this species' population. In addition, Cueva de Ahuacatlan, located beneath the aforementioned church, is filled with human waste and garbage, while Cueva de Potrerillos had vestiges of a large bonfire (T. Burkhardt pers. comm. 2006, S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019).
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
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? Unknown Although this species has never been common, it used to be seen regularly prior to the 1970s (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019). Regular surveys to the type locality and its vicinity in San Luis Potosí recorded only a single individual between 2004-2019, however the species is regularly encountered at another locality in San Luis Potosí (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019). It was found once in extreme eastern Querétaro in 2005, north of known localities in the state, and at a new locality in Hidalgo in 2010 where it has been regularly recorded over the last nine years (S. Rovito pers. comm. October 2019). The species seems to have disappeared from most of its historical localities, even though it is being found at new localities (S. Rovito pers. comm. 2014, 2019).
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? No
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? Unknown Research into availability of founders needs to be prioritised.
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)?

Citation: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop. 2020. Conservation Needs Assessment for Chiropterotriton magnipes, Mexico.
https://conservationneeds.org/Assessment/AssessmentResults?assessmentId=411&countryId=91&speciesId=914. Accessed 15 Jun 2021