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Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles


Conservation Priorities Report | Status Reports | Other Publications

Conservation Priorities Report 
Conservation Priorities of Amphibians and Reptiles in Canada by David Seburn and Carolyn Seburn, September 2000.  This report was prepared for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and CARCNET. 

Please follow this link to view the report in pdf format.

Status Reports - Call for Authors 
Call for Authors 
Species - reports needed: Amphibians | Reptiles 
Contact  information & how to sign up 
Species already completed

Information and Call for Authors of Status Reports
COSEWIC is on the verge of having assessed all the species of amphibians and reptiles in Canada that have been suspected of possibly being at some level of risk in the country. For the amphibians, to date 26 species have been written up for COSEWIC in comprehensive status reports and a further three species status reports will be completed soon. These reports contain the some of best information available about these species in Canada today. It would be a shame if they could not be made more readily available and so we intend to publish them in a book.

However, 17 amphibian species and 9 reptile species are likely to remain without COSEWIC reports. These are the more common species in Canada which, by any accounting, appear not to be in any imminent danger of disappearing altogether. This does not mean, however, that they may not have suffered population declines or are not susceptible to pollutants or disease. Against all the many potentially imperiled species of plants and animals for which COSEWIC has, and will, commission status reports, these species do not rate a high enough priority for them to be assessed any time soon. But it would be extremely valuable nonetheless if all of Canada’s amphibian and reptile species could be investigated and assessed. This would be the first complete and thorough status assessment of any country’s herpetofauna and the first completed for any major taxon in Canada as well. With 64 of 90 species either already assessed or in line, the job is virtually 2/3 done.

Therefore, we ask for volunteers to write COSEWIC-style species status reports for the remaining 17 amphibian species and 9 reptile species in Canada. When completed in conformity to the prescribed format they can be brought forward to COSEWIC for an official assessment (Not at Risk, we hope) and can be incorporated into the proposed book. 

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Reports are needed on the following species:



Ambystoma macrodactylum (Long-toed salamander)

Ambystoma laterale (Blue-spotted salamander)

Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted salamander)

Aneides vagrans (Wandering salamander)

Eurycea bislineata (Northern two-lined salamander)

Notophthalmus viridescens (Red-spotted newt)

Plethodon cinereus (Eastern redback salamander)

Taricha granulosa (Roughskin newt)


Bufo americanus (American toad)

Hyla versicolor (Gray treefrog)

Hyla regilla (Pacific treefrog)

Pseudacris crucifer (Spring peeper)

Pseudacris maculata (Boreal Chorus frog)

Rana catesbeiana (Bullfrog)

Rana clamitans (Green frog)

Rana septentrionalis (Mink Frog)

Rana sylvatica (Wood Frog)



Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Turtle)

Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle)

Chrysemys picta (Painted Turtle)


Diadophis punctatus (Ringnecked Snake)

Leiochlorophis vernalis (Smooth Greensnake)

Storeria occipitomaculata (Redbellied Snake)

Thamnophis elegans (Western Terrestrial Gartersnake)

Thamnophis radix (Prairie Gartersnake)

Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Gartersnake)

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For more information and to sign up to write a report on a species, contact

Dr. David M. Green (Amphibians)
co-chair COSEWIC Amphibians and Reptiles Specialist Group
Redpath Museum, McGill University, 
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2K6
[email protected]


Dr. Ron Brooks (Reptiles)
co-chair COSEWIC Amphibians and Reptiles Specialist Group
Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, 
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 2W1
[email protected]

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Species already designated by COSEWIC or assigned for status reports


Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern salamander)

Ambystoma jeffersonianum (Jefferson salamander)

Ambystoma texanum (Smallmouth salamander)

Ambystoma tigrinum (Tiger salamander)

Desmognathus fuscus (Northern Dusky salamander)

Desmognathus ochrophaeus (Allegheny Mountain dusky salamander)

Dicamptodon tenebrosus (Coastal Giant salamander)

Ensatina eschscholtzii (Ensatina)

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (Spring salamander)

Hemidactylium scutatum (Four-toed salamander)

Necturus maculosus (Mudpuppy)

Plethodon idahoensis (Coeur d'Alène Salamander)

Plethodon vehiculum (Western Redback salamander)


Acris crepitans (Northern cricket frog)

Ascaphus montanus (Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog)

Ascaphus truei (Coastal Tailed frog)

Bufo boreas (Western toad)

Bufo cognatus (Great Plains toad)

Bufo fowleri (Fowler's toad)

Bufo hemiophrys (Canadian toad)

Hyla chrysoscelis (Diploid or Cope's gray treefrog),

Pseudacris triseriata (Western Chorus frog)

Rana aurora (Red-legged frog)

Rana luteiventris (Columbia spotted frog)

Rana palustris (Pickerel frog)

Rana pipiens (Northern leopard frog).

Rana pretiosa (Oregon Spotted Frog)

Scaphiopus bombifrons (Plains spadefoot)

Spea intermontana (Great Basin Spadefoot)


Apalone spinifera (Spiny Softshell)

Glyptemys insculpta (Wood Turtle)

Clemmys marmorata (Pacific Pond Turtle)

Clemmys guttata (Spotted Turtle)

Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Turtle)

Emydoidea blandingi (Blanding's Turtle)

Graptemys geographica (Northern Map Turtle)

Sternotherus odoratus (Stinkpot)

Terrapene carolina (Eastern Box Turtle)


Elgaria caerulea (Northern Alligator Lizard)

Eumeces skiltonianus (Western Skink)

Eumeces septentrionalis (Northern Prairie Skink)

Eumeces fasciatus (Five-lined Skink)

Phrynosoma hernandezi (Short-horned Lizard)

Phrynosoma douglassi (Pygmy Horned Lizard)


Charina bottae (Rubber Boa)

Coluber constrictor ( Racer)

Contia tenuis (Sharp-tailed Snake)

Crotalus horridus (Timber Rattlesnake)

Crotalus oregonus (Pacific Rattlesnake)

Crotalus viridis (Western Rattlesnake)

Elaphe obsoleta (Ratsnake)

Elaphe gloydi (Eastern Foxsnake)

Heterodon nasicus (Western Hog-nosedd Snake)

Heterodon platirhinos (Eastern Hog-nosedd Snake,)

Hypsiglena torquata (Night Snake)

Lampropeltis triangulum (Milksnake,)

Nerodia sipedon (Common Water Snake, Lake Erie Water Snake)

Pituophis catenifer (Gophersnake)

Regina septemvittata (Queen Snake)

Sistrurus catenatus (Massasauga)

Storeria dekayi (Dekay's Brownsnake)

Thamnophis sauritus (Ribbonsnake)

Thamnophis butleri (Butler’s Gartersnake)

Thamnophis ordinoides (Northwestern Gartersnake)

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Other DAPCAN/CARCN/RCCAR Publications
Bishop, C. A. and K.E. Pettit (Eds). 1992. Canadian Amphibian Populations: Designing a National Monitoring Strategy. Canadian Wildlife Service, Occasional Paper No. 76. 120 p. Abstracts in English and French.

Green, D. M. (Ed.) 1997. Amphibians in Decline: Canadian Studies of a Global Problem. Herpetological Conservation Number One. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Abstracts in English and French.

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