Ambystoma taylori

Subgenus: Heterotriton
family: Ambystomatidae

© 2014 Dr. Joachim Nerz (1 of 10)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mexico


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species is endemic to Laguna Alchichica, a saline crater lake in eastern Puebla, eastern-central Mexico and found at 2,290 m asl. It is known from a single threat-defined location and has an extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of 16 km

Habitat and Ecology

It usually does not metamorphose, and most individuals live permanently in water. It breeds in the lake, and is most often found in very deep water, often more than 30 m below the surface. The population is suspected to be decreasing as a result of habitat loss.


It is a rare species, having formerly been quite common. In June 2005 the species was found to be numerous among the deeper edges of the Tufa outcrops at the lake's edge (T. Burkhardt pers. comm. 2006).

Population Trend


Major Threats

The most serious threat is water extraction and diversion. In 2004 this was recorded as having caused the water level to decrease over the previous two decades, leading to the lake becoming more saline. This is an ongoing problem for Laguna Alchichica with extracted water being used to irrigate agricultural land and provide drinking water to the expanding human population (P.A. Caballero pers. comm. August 2015); and continued transformation and pollution of the lake will result in the disappearance of this species. Attempts to introduce fish in the lake have failed because it is too saline.

Conservation Actions


Taxonomic Notes

Based on both allozymes and mtDNA, this is a very distinctive salamander (H.B. Shaffer pers. comm.). The Ambystoma salamanders occurring in other natural lakes around Alchichica are not closely related to this species.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Ambystoma taylori. In: IUCN 2014


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