The California tiger salamander lives in the vernal pool grasslands of the Central Valley and inner-coast ranges. But it’s been declining in population ever since the non-native barred tiger salamander was intentionally introduced to its range, resulting in massive hybridization. In this battle of the genes, the native is losing ground. In partnerships with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, researchers at the La Kretz Center are developing a framework for evaluating hybrid protection and strategies to manage this problem by using evolutionary biology to select for more native salamanders.