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Ministry of Environment

Who’s Who in B.C.

Don’t know what you saw? Try our key.

Species Listed by Region

Click on the map below to see a list of species for your region, or click on your region’s name:

Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog
Regions:

Map of regions

Lower Mainland Thompson Kootenay Cariboo Skeena

Amphibians of B.C.

Click on the name for a picture and fact sheet about each species.

Common
Name
Scientific
Name
Species Code* Status** Regions
B.C. Canada
Frogs and Toads
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog Ascaphus montanus A-ASMO Red Endangered 4
Pacific Tailed Frog Ascaphus truei A-ASTR Blue Special Concern 1, 2, 5, 6
Western Toad Anaxyrus boreas A-ANBO Yellow Unranked all
Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeiana A-LICA Exotic Unranked 1, 2, 8
Green Frog Lithobates clamitans A-LICL Exotic Unranked 1, 2
Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens A-LIPI Red Endangered (B.C. population) 4
Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus A-LISY Yellow Unranked 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 7B, 8
Boreal Chorus Frog Pseudacris maculata A-PSMA Yellow Unranked 7A, 7B
Pacific Chorus Frog Pseudacris regilla A-PSRE Yellow Unranked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 8
Northern Red-legged Frog Rana aurora A-RAAU Blue Special Concern 1, 2, 6
Columbia Spotted Frog Rana luteiventris A-RALU Yellow Not At Risk 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 7B, 8
Oregon Spotted Frog Rana pretiosa A-RAPR Red Endangered 2
Great Basin Spadefoot Spea intermontana A-SPIN Blue Threatened 3
Salamanders
Northwestern Salamander Ambystoma gracile A-AMGR Yellow Not At Risk 1, 2, 5, 6
Long-toed Salamander Ambystoma macrodactylum A-AMMA Yellow Not At Risk all
Blotched Tiger Salamander Ambystoma mavortium A-AMMV Red Endangered 8
Wandering Salamander
(species account coming)
Aneides vagrans A-ANVA Yellow Unranked 1
Pacific Giant Salamander Dicamptodon tenebrosus A-DITE Red Threatened 2
Common Ensatina
(species account coming)
Ensatina eschscholtzii A-ENES Yellow Not At Risk 1, 2
Coeur d’Alene Salamander Plethodon idahoensis A-PLID Yellow Special Concern 4
Western Redback Salamander
(species account coming)
Plethodon vehiculum A-PLVE Yellow Not At Risk 1, 2, 5
Roughskin Newt Taricha granulosa A-TAGR Yellow Unranked 1, 2, 5, 6

Turtles of B.C.

Click on the name for a picture and fact sheet about each species.

Common
Name
Scientific
Name
Species Code* Status** Regions
B.C. Canada
Turtles
Painted Turtle
(Pacific Coast Population)
Chrysemys picta pop. 1 R-CHPI-01 Red Endangered 1, 2
Painted Turtle (Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population) Chrysemys picta pop. 2 R-CHPI-02 Blue Special Concern 3, 4, 5, 8
Slider Trachemys scripta R-TRSC Exotic Unranked 1, 2, 8

Reptiles of B.C.

Website hosted by Thompson Rivers University.

PLEASE NOTE: You may find that the species names listed here do not always match those used in field guides and at other websites. As technology improves and scientists examine genetic and physical differences within species across their range they sometimes divide them into new species or lump them with others, resulting in a name change. Former species names are provided here:

Old Common Name New Common Name Old Scientific Name New Scientific Name
Coastal Tailed Frog Pacific Tailed Frog Ascaphus truei (no change)
Western Toad (no change) Bufo boreas Anaxyrus boreas
American Bullfrog Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Lithobates catesbeiana
Green Frog (no change) Rana clamitans Lithobates clamitans
Northern Leopard Frog (no change) Rana pipiens Lithobates pipiens
Wood Frog (no change) Rana sylvatica Lithobates sylvaticus
Red-legged Frog Northern Red-legged Frog Rana aurora (no change)
Tiger Salamander Blotched Tiger Salamander Ambystoma tigrinum Ambystoma mavortium
Coastal Giant Salamander Pacific Giant Salamander Dicamptodon tenebrosus (no change)
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* Species Codes:

What are those five-letter codes for? – Actually they are quite useful! By using standardised codes based on the scientific name of each animal, we can be sure that everyone is talking about the same creature. Common (English) names are not precise and the scientific names can be a bit of a mouthful. On the Frogwatch Sighting Form you will notice that a five-letter code is needed – that is the four-letter species code plus a one-letter group prefix (e.g. "A" for amphibians). For example, Great Basin Spadefoot is A-SPIN.

** Status:

Many species are threatened in British Columbia and the level of risk is expressed by their conservation status rank. The conservation status of a species is ranked at both the provincial and national levels, and these conservation rankings are not always the same because they follow slightly different methods of ranking.

Provincial

The Conservation Data Centre (CDC) is responsible for maintaining and updating the conservation status ranks in B.C. and uses methodology established by NatureServe (CDC-Methods). They also maintain the B.C. List Status.

The ranks are:

  • Extinct: Species that no longer exist.
  • Red: Includes any indigenous species or subspecies that have- or are candidates for- Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened status in British Columbia.
  • Blue: Includes any indigenous species or subspecies considered to be of Special Concern (formerly Vulnerable) in British Columbia.
  • Yellow: Includes species that are apparently secure and not at risk of extinction.
  • Exotic: Species that have been moved beyond their natural range as a result of human activity.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment also prioritizes management actions for all species, not just species of conservation concern, using the Conservation Framework. The species are prioritized under three goals:

  1. Contribute to global efforts for species and ecosystem conservation
  2. Prevent species and ecosystems from becoming at risk
  3. Maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems

The prioritization score ranges from 1 (highest priority) to 6 (low priority) for a variety of management actions.

You can find out more about the B.C. system of species rankings at the Ecosystems Branch home page or the Conservation Data Centre.

National

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) composed of government, non-government, and academic experts from across Canada assesses and designates which wildlife species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada (COSEWIC Assessment method).

The ranks are:

  • Extinct: A species that no longer exists.
  • Extirpated: A species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but occurring elsewhere.
  • Endangered: A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
  • Threatened: A species that is likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.
  • Special Concern: A species of special concern because of characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.
  • Not At Risk: A species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk.
  • Data Deficient: A species for which there is insufficient scientific information to support status designation.

You can learn more about the national species rankings at Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), or at Endangered Species in Canada.

More Species Identification Pages:

(with beautiful photographs!)