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Plethodon hubrichti

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA CAUDATA PLETHODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Plethodon hubrichti
Species Authority: Thurow, 1957
Common Name(s):
English Peaks Of Otter Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Joseph Mitchell
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because it is known from fewer than five locations.
History:
1996 Vulnerable (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in the Blue Ridge Mountains, north-east of Roanoke, Virginia, United States. Most of the known range is within the Jefferson National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway. It is primarily known from localities along the Blue Ridge Parkway between miles 78 and 84 (Bedford and Botetourt counties) in the Sharp Top, Flat Top, Onion, and Apple Orchard mountains and vicinity. It occurs at elevations above 550m asl (Mitchell 1991); it is also reported as generally occurring above 760m asl (Bury, Dodd and Fellers 1980).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although it has a patchy distribution, it is seasonally common and can be locally abundant (Kramer et al. 1993). Kramer et al. (1993) marked 250 Peaks of Otter Salamanders in a 10 x 10m plot and estimated a population size of 450 individuals; average density/field trip was 0.24 individuals/m².
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found in mature Appalachian hardwood forest, mainly on north-facing slopes and in coves and shaded ravines, and also in rhododendron thickets; found primarily under downed logs and rocks, and among wet leaf-litter, in middle to late successional stages of oak-maple woodland (Bury, Dodd and Fellers 1980, Mitchell 1991). It often climbs into vegetation, especially ferns, during June-September at night during foraging (Kramer et al. 1993). It might be vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and clear cutting. It is a terrestrial breeder with direct development.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is a potential local threat due to firewood collection. Sattler and Reichenbach (1998) found that clear cutting significantly reduced populations, due to emigration and/or mortality; juveniles appeared to be particularly impacted. Shelterwood cuts did not have any overall adverse impacts. Mitchell, Wicknick and Anthony (1996) found that timber-harvesting practices do not eliminate this species but may diminish population size and diet quality. Because of very low dispersal rates, intensive timbering and habitat fragmentation could be highly detrimental (Kramer et al. 1993; Petranka 1998). Threats also include recreational development, defoliation by gypsy moths, and spraying to control gypsy moths (Mitchell 1991).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some populations are fully protected (Petranka 1998). Nearly the entire known range is within Jefferson National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway, but the management of these is not necessarily compatible with the conservation of this species. Surveys are needed to establish the extent of the species' range on private lands. They are recognized as a Federal species At Risk by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and listed as a Species of Concern by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. There is a need for continued close monitoring of the population status of this species.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Joseph Mitchell 2004. Plethodon hubrichti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 August 2014.
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