This species is restricted to scattered localities (at least 12 localities are known) in La Spezia Province, north-west Italy. The populations east of the Magra River around Massa Carrara belong to a recently discovered subspecies, Speleomantes ambrosii bianchii. Genetic research indicates that this subspecies may actually belong to S. italicus rather than S. ambrosii (Carranza et al. 2007). There is an introduced population in Monteviggioni (Siena, Tuscany). It is found at altitudes ranging from near sea level to around 2,300 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is known from humid rocky outcrops, caves, crevices, and forested areas in the vicinity of streams. Individuals may occasionally be found climbing in vegetation. The species reproduces through the direct development of a few terrestrial eggs.
It is generally common within its limited range, with no evidence of any decline.
Threats to this species include general localized loss of suitable habitat and illegal collection.
It is present in Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre and Parco Naturale delle Alpi Apuane. The species has a very restricted range and needs further conservation attention. Prior to being considered a separate species S. ambrosii was listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention under S. italicus. It is also listed on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened since although its extent of occurrence is probably less than 5,000 km2 and its habitat might be declining, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable, it probably occurs in more than ten locations, and its range is probably not severely fragmented. If Speleomantes ambrosii bianchii is reassigned to S. italicus rather than S. ambrosii, the extent of occurrence and number of locations for S. ambrosii will be reduced, and reassessment will be necessary.
Franco Andreone, Paul Edgar, Claudia Corti, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano 2009. Speleomantes ambrosii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T20454A76525249. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T20454A76525249.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019