This is a yellow-eyed Ensatina, a subspecies of the western salamander, which is only found in the Bay area of California. Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival are working to save salamanders by identifying and monitoring the impact of climate change. While some salamander species may be able to adapt to warmer temperatures or extend their ranges northward, others do not have these options. High-elevation species are often specialized for cool microclimates and become easily stressed when exposed to increased temperatures or drought. Many mountaintop species will have nowhere to go, since they will not be able to migrate down through warmer valleys to find a new, cooler environment.
Photo: Anton Sorokin