Introduction to Amphibians of Great Sand Dunes

A yellow and black salamander buries itself in sand
Tiger salamanders bury themselves in moist sand to survive the extreme conditions of the dunefield.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Tiger salamanders can live in any habitat - from desert to alpine tundra - as long as there is at least seasonal water to breed in for their larval stage. They can survive in the dunes by burying themselves in moist sand beneath the dry surface. While tiger salamanders on the valley floor often have the characteristic tiger stripes, a dark green is found in the forests or tundra of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Keep your eye out for these other amphibians in the national park and preserve:

-Great Plains toad
-Chorus frog
-Spadefoot toad
-Woodhouse’s toad
-Northern leopard frog

The northern leopard frog is experiencing a decline in populations and is currently listed as a species of special concern by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Learn more about the amphibians of Great Sand Dunes.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Last updated: April 20, 2021