Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen

Second Advisor

Tracy Benning


As federally and state protected amphibians, the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) are recipients of ample management focus. Both species face a variety of threats, including habitat loss and alteration, introduction of non-native species, spread of disease, and effects of climate change. While management plans for the California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog exist, they frequently do not consider both species in tandem and often contain multiple shortcomings. This document aims to address the shortfalls of current management by providing practical recommendations for jointly managing the upland and aquatic habitat of both species. To inform management recommendations, a case study was conducted to identify deficiencies in current management. Literature review and personal communications with experts were also utilized to provide detailed accounts of species life history, habitat use, and prominent threats. As sympatric, biphasic amphibians with considerable overlap in biology, habitat, and threats, management strategies targeting one species often affect the other. Joint management may facilitate management efforts, aiding in the recovery of both species. Livestock grazing as a means of vegetation control is identified as a principal strategy for managing upland and aquatic habitats. Other tactics include non-native species removal, pond maintenance, hydroperiod alteration, disease management, and construction of wildlife crossings. Surveying and monitoring are valuable tools for determining management needs, observing changes, and encouraging adaptive management. Management must be approached with a site-specific mindset and continued research is needed to improve future management and promote recovery of the species.