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Long-toed Salamander

The Long-toed Salamander is currently on the 'Yellow B List' in Alberta, meaning that the species is not at risk but attention should be given to potential limiting factors.

The Long-toed Salamander is found in habitats ranging from temperate rain forests to semiarid sagebrush deserts and alpine meadows.

In Alberta, most Long-toed Salamanders are found in the Cordilleran Natural Region, made up of the Montane and Subalpine Ecoregions. This area is characterized as having a generally short summer with pronounced precipitation, and a climatically variable winter. A significant number of Long-toed Salamanders are also found in the Boreal Natural Region consisting of the Lower Boreal-Cordilleran, Upper Boreal Cordilleran, and Low Boreal Mixedwood Ecoregions. This area typically has low annual precipitation, with short summers and long cold winters. A few Long-toed Salamander populations are also found on the margins of the Fescue Grass Ecoregion.

The Long-toed Salamander moves from upland areas to its aquatic breeding habitat as soon as the spring melt occurs. The primary stimulus for breeding in the Bow Corridor population appears to be the thawing of the ground. The number of adult salamanders at the breeding ponds in the Bow Corridor increased with both temperature and precipitation, indicating that movement and emergence are encouraged by these factors.

Adult salamanders can be active in and around breeding ponds at temperatures as low as 4ºC. Males arrive first at the ponds to await the females. Males stay in breeding ponds an average of 28 days whereas females stay for an average of 18 days.

Terrestrial Long-toed Salamanders, including sexually mature and immature individuals, spend most of their time below ground, often in small mammal burrows.