The range includes western North America and extends from southeastern Alaska southward to Tuolumne County, California, east to Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, west-central Alberta, western Montana, and central Idaho. There are isolated populations in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, California (Bury et al. 1980). Elevational range extends from sea level to about 3,050 meters (Stebbins 2003). The extent of occurrence is around 1,438,000 km2.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from semiarid sagebrush deserts to sub alpine meadows, including dry woodlands, humid forests, and the rocky shores of mountain lakes. Adults are subterranean except during the breeding season. Breeding sites include temporary or permanent ponds (including artificial ponds), or quiet water at the edge of lakes and streams. During the breeding season adults may be found under logs, rocks, and other debris near water. Eggs are attached to vegetation or loose on bottom. It has a free-living larval stage.
The total adult population size is unknown, but it surely exceeds 10,000 and is relatively stable.
In the Cascades of northern Washington, larval abundance was related to both lake productivity and the presence of introduced predatory trout (reduced larval abundance when trout present) (Tyler et al. 1998). In Montana, introduced trout populations clearly excluded salamanders from lakes (Funk and Dunlap 1999).
Fisheries management could improve the status of salamander populations by not introducing non-native fishes into salamander habitats. Removal of these predators from otherwise favorable salamander habitat is appropriate in many locations.
Research is required for population trends, size and monitoring.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations and locations, presumed large population size, and use of a wide range of habitats.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Ambystoma macrodactylum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59063A56539990. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T59063A56539990.en .Downloaded on 23 February 2019