California Tiger Salamander Workshop 2015

California Tiger Salamander Workshop 2015 program image

Our popular workshop on the California tiger salamander returned once again in 2015!  This was a great opportunity to learn from 2 leading experts on the biology, habitat requirements and conservation strategies for this rare and beautiful salamander.


Thursday, April 23, 2015
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Elkhorn Slough Reserve
Lunch will be provided

COST: $400.00
Payable by check to Elkhorn Slough Foundation
Payable by credit card (online)


Instructor Information

Dr. Chris Searcy
Associate Professor of Conservation Ecology
University of Miami

Dr. Peter Trenham
Independent Consultant


Grey Hayes
(831) 274-8700



See also: California Tiger Salamander, Habitat Restoration

On April 23, 2015, Pete Trenham, Ph.D. presented a workshop at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve on the biology and conservation of the California tiger salamander (CTS). Dr. Trenham has published a variety of papers on the ecology and life history of the California tiger salamander and has taught this popular workshop on several occasions.  Dr. Trenham was joined this year by Dr. Chris Searcy, another widely recognized expert on this species.

The workshop consisted of a classroom session on April 23, 8:30 - 3:30 at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve, and enrollment in one of two training sessions either April 23, 4:30-8:30 (directly after the classroom portion) or April 24, 9:00 - 1:00 at a field site near Salinas.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Understanding of the biology of California tiger salamanders
  • Understanding of habitat management for this species.
  • Understanding of how to apply information in large-scale and local conservation planning efforts. 


Topics discussed:

  • The geographic distribution of California tiger salamanders and hybrid populations
  • Aquatic habitats and their management
  • Individual organism movement patterns
  • Population and community ecology
  • Survey methods
  • Methods for assessing potential project impacts and approaches for avoidance and minimization.


Field training practicum:

Participants received training in species identification, sampling techniques, and habitat requirements of the California tiger salamander.  Dr. Trenham and Dr. Searcy led participants through a hands-on skill building exercise for conserving the species.


***very important***


It is important to note that no component of this workshop should be construed to apply to attendees’ ability to obtain permits related to the CTS; if you are interested in how workshop activities might be used for permitting, you are encouraged to contact your agency permitting representative.

Documents and Publications

Contact List
We encourage participants to download the contact list to assist with arranging a rideshare or to get in contact with someone you met at the workshop. Those interested in sharing a ride to the event are marked on the contact list.

Presentation: California tiger salamander workshop
PDF, 18.2MB
Chris Searcy and Pete Trenham
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program
May 2023
Read Me: Important Preparation Guidelines for CTS Field Practica
Dan Brumbaugh
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program
Supplemental Materials, Including Bibliography: California Tiger Salamander Workshop
PDF, 220KB
Chris Searcy And Pete Trenham
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program
May 2023
Amphibian Upland Habitat Use & Its Consequences for Population Viability
PDF, 197KB
Peter C. Trenham & H. Bradley Shaffer
Ecological Applications 15(4):1158-1168
Calculating Biologically Accurate Mitigation Credits: Insights from the California Tiger Salamander
PDF, 415KB
Christopher Searcy and Bradley Shaffer
Conservation Biology 22(4):997-1005
Delayed life history effects, multilevel selection, and evolutionary trade-offs in the California tiger salamander
PDF, 2.4MB
Christopher A. Searcy, Levi N. Gray, Peter C. Trenham, and H. Bradley Shaffer
Ecology, 95(1):68-77
Distribution of Migrating Adults Related to the Location of Remnant Grassland around an Urban California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) Breeding Pool
PDF, 341KB
Peter C. Trenham and David G. Cook
Urban Herpetology, Herpetological Conservation, Mitchell, J.C., and R.E. Jung Brown (Eds.). Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Effective population size is strongly correlated with breeding pond size in the endangered California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense
PDF, 500KB
Ian J. Wang, Jarrett R. Johnson, Benjamin B. Johnson, H. Bradley Shaffer
Conserv Genet 12:911-920
Effects of tail-clipping on survivorship and growth of larval salamanders
PDF, 414KB
Rebecca L. Polich, Christopher A. Searcy, and H. Bradley Shaffer
The Journal of Wildlife Management 77(7):1420-1425
Life History and Demographic Variation in the California Tiger Salamander
PDF, 101KB
Peter C. Trenham, H. Bradley Shaffer, Walter D. Koenig, and Mark R. Stromberg
Copeia 2:365-377
Microhabitat use and migration distance of an endangered grassland amphibian
PDF, 475KB
Christopher A. Searcy, Emilio Gabbai-Saldate, and H. Bradley Shaffer
Biological Conservation 158:80-87
Movement Patterns and Migration Distances in an Upland Population of California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)
PDF, 1.1MB
Susan G. Orloff
Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6(2):266-276
Retention of low-fitness genotypes over six decades of admixture between native and introduced tiger salamanders
PDF, 397KB
Jarrett R. Johnson, Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, and H Bradley Shaffer
BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:147
Short pond hydroperiod decreases fitness of nonnative hybrid salamanders in California
PDF, 619KB
J. R. Johnson, M. E. Ryan, S. J. Micheletti, and H. B. Shaffer
Animal Conservation 16:556-565
Spatially Autocorrelated Demography and Interpond Dispersal In The Salamander Ambystoma californiense
PDF, 339KB
Peter C. Trenham, Walter D. Koenig and H. Bradley Shaffer
Ecology, 82(12):3519-3530
Sympatry in California tiger salamander and Californa red-legged frog breeding habitat within their overlapping range
PDF, 145KB
Jeff A. Alvarez, Mary A. Shea, Jeffery T. Wilcox, Mark L.. Allaback, Sarah M. Foster, Gretchen E. Padgett-Flohr, and Jennifer L. Haire
California Fish and Game 99(1):42-48
Terrestrial Habitat Use by Adult California Tiger Salamander
PDF, 177KB
Pete Trenham
Journal of Herpetology
June 2001
The molecular phylogenetics of endangerment: cryptic variation and historical phylogeography of the California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense
PDF, 317KB
H. Bradley Shaffer, Gregory B. Pauly, Jeffrey C. Oliver, and Peter C. Trenham
Molecular Ecology 13:3033-3049
The origin of tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) populations in California, Oregon, and Nevada: introductions or relicts?
PDF, 544KB
Jarrett R. Johnson, Robert C. Thomson, Steven J. Micheletti, and H. Bradley Shaffer
Conserv Genet 12:355-370
The polytypic species revisited: genetic differentiation and molecular phylogenetics of the tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum (Amphibia: Caudata) complex
PDF, 2.8MB
H. Bradley Shaffer; Mark L. McKnight
Evolution, 50(1):417-433
Feb. 1996
Ambystoma californiense, California Tiger Salamander...chapter in
Bradley Shaffer and Pete Trenham
Berkeley Press


California Herps

Questions and Answers

Submit a question on this subject and we'll provide an answer. coastaltraining@elkhornslough.org