Information Center for the Environment

Distribution maps of amphibians in the Sierra Nevada, California.

Data source

There are 32 amphibian taxa currently found in the Sierra Nevada region of California. Thirty of these taxa are native species or subspecies; nine are frogs and toads and twenty-one are salamanders. The bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) is non-native and the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) is of unknown origin and may have been introduced to reservoirs in the Owens Valley as fish bait. The following range maps for the 32 amphibian taxa was compiled by Mark Jennings of the California Academy of Sciences, as part of the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP). His report on the status of amphibians in the Sierra Nevada is found in Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final report to Congress, volume II, Assessments and scientific basis for management options, pg 921-944. The range maps were created using current and historical information from verified sightings and museum records. The accuracy for each amphibian taxon range varies, depending on the number of records available.

The range maps from the report were digitized into Arc Info coverages, using county boundaries as geographic reference points. The resultant polygons are estimated to be accurate at a scale of 1:2,000,000. We converted all native amphibian taxa polygons (including the Owens Valley tiger salamander) to a grid, with a cell size of 5000 m. All thirty grids were then overlayed to create a grid depicting taxa richness for the Sierra Nevada region.

Index to Native amphibians of the Sierra Nevada,California.

Ambystomatidae - mole salamanders

  • Ambystoma californiense - California tiger salamander - map
  • Ambystoma macrodactylum sigillatum - southern long-toed salamander - map
  • Ambystoma tigrinum ssp. - Tiger salamander - map

    Plethodontidae - lungless salamanders

  • Aneides lugubris - arboreal salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps attenuatus - California slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps nigriventris - black-bellied slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps pacificus - Pacific slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps relictus - Relictual slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps simatus - Kern Canyon slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps stebbinsi - Tehachapi slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps sp. - Breckenridge Mountain slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps sp. - Fairview slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps sp. - Kern Plateau slender salamander - map
  • Batrachoseps sp. - Hell Hollow slender salamander - map
  • Ensatina eschscholtzii croceater - yellow-blotched salamander - map
  • Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis - Sierra Nevada salamander - map
  • Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica - yellow-eyed salamander - map
  • Hydromantes brunus - limestone salamander - map
  • Hydromantes platycephalus - Mount Lyell salamander - map
  • Hydromantes sp. - Owens Valley web-toed salamander - map

    Salamandridae - newts

  • Taricha granulosa granulosa - northern rough-skinned newt - map
  • Taricha torosa sierrae - Sierra newt - map

    Bufonidae - true toads

  • Bufo boreas halophilus - California toad - map
  • Bufo canorus - Yosemite toad - map

    Hylidae - tree frogs

  • Hyla regilla - Pacific tree frog - map

    Ranidae - true frogs

  • Rana aurora draytoni - California red-legged frog - Present locations unverified
  • Rana boylii - Foothill yellow-legged frog - map
  • Rana cascadae - Cascade frog - map
  • Rana catesbeiana - Bullfrog - map
  • Rana muscosa - Mountain yellow-legged frog - map
  • Rana pipiens - northern leopard frog - map
  • Rana muscosa - Mountain yellow-legged frog - map

    Pelobatidae - spadefoot toads

  • Scaphiopus hammondii - western spadefoot - map