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New Jersey has over 70 endangered and threatened species.

 

Headstart program for Eastern Tiger Salamanders

The Eastern Tiger Salamander Headstart Program was started in 2011 as a partnership between NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Cape May County Zoo, Conserve Wildlife Foundation, and the Association of Zoos & Aquarium.


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Historically, eastern tiger salamanders ranged from southern New York to northern Florida along the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Remaining eastern populations are disjunct and declining; the species is state endangered in NY, NJ, DE, MD, and VA and has already been extirpated in PA. New Jersey's Cape May populations may represent best chance of preventing complete extirpation from the Mid-Atlantic region.

Image of Eastern tiger salamanders are extremely susceptible to disturbance from off-road vehicles.Zoom+ Eastern tiger salamanders are extremely susceptible to disturbance from off-road vehicles. © Dave Golden

In New Jersey Eastern tiger salamanders are limited to 15 breeding pools in Cape May County, one-third are at risk of inundation from sea-level rise in the next 100 years. Together with NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, we are constructing new vernal pools in upland areas that are above potential sea-level rise. By increasing connectivity and creating metapopulations, we are assisting the migration of these vernal-pool communities towards higher ground.

In 2011 NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Cape May County Zoo, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and CWF launched a pilot headstarting program to increase egg and larval survivorship of eastern tiger salamanders. These headstarted larvae will be released into newly constructed vernal pools in Cape May.

Find Related Info: Amphibians, Vernal Pools