FWS initial 90-day finding says listing the Tehachapi slender salamander may be warranted.
74 Fed. Reg. 18336 / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17 / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Tehachapi Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps stebbinsi) as Threatened or Endangered
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Tehachapi slender salamander (Batrachoseps stebbinsi) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Tehachapi slender salamander may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review to determine if listing this species is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting information and data regarding this species. We will initiate a determination on critical habitat for this species, if and when we initiate a listing action.
Photos by Gary Nafis from CaliforniaHerps.com. According to the petition, the two known populations of the Tehachapi slender salamander, a lungless, skin-breathing species adapted to digging and burrowing underground, may represent separate species, and existing scientific literature reports high levels of differences in coloration, size, and genes between the Caliente Canyon population (pictured above) and the population found in the Tehachapi Mountains (pictured below). The morphological and genetic differences between the two populations provide evidence that they have been separated for a long time and are likely not interbreeding.