Martinelli Center
3585 Greenville Road, Suite 2
Livermore, CA 94550-6710
P (925) 371-0154
F (925) 960-1550

California Tiger Salamander Workshop May 6 and 7, 2014

The Alameda County Conservation Partnership is pleased to host this workshop on the biology and conservation of the California tiger salamander (CTS), for the 9th consecutive year, co-sponsored by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program. California tiger salamander specialist Christopher Searcy, Ph.D will be the instructor. Class size is limited to 32 participants, to provide a focused learning environment. The workshop includes a classroom lecture session, as well as field sessions in smaller groups to allow for a more interactive experience with the presenter and species.

This workshop is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of CTS biology and ecology.  By completing this workshop, we hope you will also better understand how this information can be applied to habitat management for the species. The information will be useful in large-scale and local conservation planning efforts. Topics discussed by Dr. Searcy will include: the geographic distribution of CTS and hybrid populations; upland and aquatic habitats and their management; individual organism movement patterns, population and community ecology; survey methods; methods for assessing potential project impact, and approaches for avoidance and minimization. The field session will include training in species identification, sampling techniques, and habitat requirements.  (If you are interested in how this workshop might apply to your ability to obtain CTS survey permits, contact your agency permitting representatives.)

Confirmed registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, upon receiving payment. The two field sessions are limited to 16 people each. Please see below to register.

Workshop Agenda

Classroom Session -- May 7th - 9 am to 4:30 pm
- Basics of amphibian biology and conservation
- Evolutionary relationships among tiger salamanders
- How to identify CTS eggs, larvae, and adults
- Life cycle, demography, and population dynamics
- Predators and prey
- Habitats and ecology
- Movements, populations, metapopulations, and landscapes
- Threats
- Strategies for conservation and recovery

Field Session -- Choose either May 6, 5:30pm to 8:30pm OR May 7, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
- Training with field equipment use and cleaning
- Seining and dip-netting for CTS larvae
- Appropriate care and handling of captured CTS
- Approaches for detecting CTS in upland habitats
- Understanding the importance of gophers and ground squirrels 


Chris Searcy, University of Toronto Mississauga: Chris Searcy received his Ph.D. in Population Biology from the University of California, Davis in 2011 for his dissertation “Landscape ecology and conservation of the California tiger salamander”. This research is based on a mark-recapture study at the Jepson Prairie Preserve that involved the capture of over 30,000 individual California tiger salamanders. From 2011-13, Chris continued this study as a postdoctoral researcher, looking at the population dynamics of California tiger salamanders and the aquatic-terrestrial linkages, climatic factors, and selection pressures that shape these dynamics. He has authored five published papers on California tiger salamanders and has seven additional manuscripts on California tiger salamanders either in press or in preparation.

Important Information

Course Locations and Equipment
The classroom sessions will be held at the Martinelli Event Center, 3585 Greenvillle Road, Livermore, CA 94550.  The field site will include both breeding and upland habitat (site will be emailed to workshop registrants). Although we cannot guarantee successful capture of CTS larvae or adults, our field sites have been highly reliable from year to year, and we do our best to select a field site with CTS present in the pond.

Please bring field-ready clothing and footwear. Waders are strongly recommended. Hip boots or waterproof boots will be adequate if participants do not wish to fully venture into the water, but waders are necessary for attendees to participate in thorough field investigations and fully benefit from the hands-on elements of the training. Participants are also required to sign a waiver in order to participate in the field session (the form will be available at the classroom session).

Food and Beverages
Beverages, breakfast and lunch will be provided in the classroom session. The Conservation Partnership will do its best to accommodate special dietary needs when registrants notify us in advance. Please note that the classroom and field sessions are in rural locations with few restaurants and no stores nearby.


Please register through the secure form below. You do not need a PayPal account in order to pay through PayPal - simply enter your credit card information.

We apologize that we are not able to hold spots until payment is received – we have consistently had trouble in the past receiving payment when spots were reserved before they were paid for.  But please contact us with any questions - we recognize that it can be difficult for agencies to approve payment before registration.

Once the workshop is at capacity (32 participants), you can add yourself to the waitlist through the online registration link above. Please provide your most reliable contact information (cell phone, most-checked email, etc.).

Alternate Workshop
The Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training will also be hosting a California Tiger Salamander workshop on June 19 2014.  The workshop will be taught by Pete Trenham PhD and will include a field component and species handling.  This workshop will open to registration on April 14, in the meantime visit their website to learn more about the training:

Workshop Cancellation and Refunds
Participants who wish to cancel their registration will receive a refund minus a $50 administrative fee if they inform Haley Burgardt by April 30th. Partial refunds after that date may be granted at the discretion of the RCD Executive Officer.

The Conservation Partnership reserves the right to cancel or postpone a workshop or a portion of an event such as a field session for any reason, particularly for the lack of sufficient registration, incapacity of speaker, inclement weather, etc. In the case of cancellation, registrants will receive full refunds, and in the case of postponement those who are not able to attend the new date will receive full refunds.

If you have questions about the workshop or registration process, please contact Haley Burgardt.

Thanks to our co-sponsor the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program.