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Eastern Tiger Salamander - February 2003 Species of the Month

Eastern tiger salamanderThe Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) was February's Species of the Month in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the New Jersey Endangered Species Conservation Act and the formation of DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP).

Each winter a prehistoric-like scene unfolds as adult tiger salamanders, resembling miniature dinosaurs, converge upon woodland vernal (seasonal) ponds to breed. Habitat loss and water pollution have led to the decline of tiger salamander populations in the southern portion of New Jersey and by the mid-1970s their known historic breeding sites had been reduced to half - 19 sites. Consequently, the Eastern Tiger Salamander was listed as an endangered species in 1974 and still remains on the list. To stave off the destruction of vernal ponds, the DEP recently adopted regulations that affords them protection under the State Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act.

Eastern Tiger Salamander – A Challenge in New Jersey

  • Breeding needs or habitat are impacted by water pollution, pesticides, roads, introductions of fish, off-road vehicles and development, especially on private land
  • Some populations have been saved from local extinction by the species ability to utilize human-made pools as breeding ponds
  • Activities affecting a vernal (seasonal) pond that meet specific biological and physical criteria are now restricted under the State Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act
Eastern Tiger Salamander
Ways You Can Help
Learn how to conduct salamander and frog surveys at a vernal pond near you! For information
Check-off for wildlife when completing your state tax return each year! This is a primary funding source for the preservation of the State’s endangered and nongame wildlife.
Conserve Wildlife license plate
Order a Conserve Wildlife special interest license plate for your vehicle. It’s tax-deductible, with 80 percent of the payment benefiting New Jersey’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

Want to volunteer? Enjoy giving presentations? Looking for speakers? The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers two opportunities:The Endangered and Nongame Species Program's Speakers Bureau and the Division’s Wildlife Conservation Corps. Visit these sites for details.

Additional Sources of Information
Eastern tiger salamander
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 18, 2004