Categories: , Has Found The Endangered Sonoran Salamander!’s very own Tom Van Devender and his wife Ana Lilia Reina-G set off on a research expedition as they often do as a part of our bio-diversity programs. While on their trip, Tom and Ana Lilia stayed in a little motel on a tiny road at the edge of Cananea. This vast grassland area extends to the southeast towards the massive Sierra de los Ajos mountain range. One rainy night during their stay, they were surprised to find a little salamander at their door.

It wasn’t any ordinary salamander, though. They happened upon the very rare Sonoran Salamander. This species was identified by Charles Lowe in 1954 and placed on the endangered list in 1997 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Not only was this an interesting find because it’s a endangered, but because this little salamander was well outside of its known territory. This species spends the drier parts of the year as larvae in permanent ponds and during adulthood, they can often be found in holes in the ground. After speaking with area locals, Tom and Ana Lilia confirmed 4 other citing’s of this species of salamander.

Thanks to this incredible discovery, the scientific community of this region has the opportunity to protect this genetically-pure population of salamanders. Tom and Ana Lilia are working with Guillermo and Hugo Silva, a Professor at the Universidad de la Sierra in Moctezuma, to plan field surveys by college students next September. This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about a species of animal that was unknown in this area and to work to take them off the endangered list.


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