Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Aneides vagrans
Species Authority: Wake and Jackman, 1998
Common Name(s):
English Wandering Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species has been separated from Aneides ferreus (Jackman 1998).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Kristiina Ovaska
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is in significant decline (but at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because it is being adversely affected by widely practiced forest management practices, making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the USA from northern Del Norte and Siskiyou Counties, California, south through extreme western Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties in an increasingly narrow, forested coastal strip to the vicinity of Stewart's Point, north-western Sonoma County, California. It is widespread on Vancouver Island and neighbouring islands in British Columbia, Canada, but reports from mainland British Columbia are unreliable. All Canadian populations might be derived from human-mediated introductions that occurred in conjunction with shipments of tan oak bark from California (Wake and Jackman, in Jackman 1998). The type locality in Humbold County is at 500m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total adult population size of this species is unknown but is likely to be at least several thousand.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in moist coniferous forests, in forest edges, forest clearings, talus, and burned-over areas. It is usually found under bark or in rotten logs (in which it may aggregate in summer), and it requires large (greater than 50cm in diameter) downed logs of mid-decay classes with sloughing bark (Thomas et al. 1993). It often occurs high in trees, and some individuals or populations may rarely descend to ground level. It lays its eggs in cavities in rotten logs, under bark, or among vegetation. Welsh and Wilson (1995) reported a clutch of Aneides vagrans or A. ferreus eggs that had been deposited in a fern clump at the base of a limb 30-40m above the ground in a large redwood tree.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by intensive, short-rotation logging practices that result in increasing scarcity of coarse woody debris on the forest floor (Corn and Bury 1991). These salamanders may thrive initially after logging but then decline as stumps and logs decay and critical microhabitats are eliminated (Petranka 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protection of mature and old growth forests is the most important long-term conservation need for this species. The trend for increasing scarcity of required coarse woody debris on the forest floor may be counteracted to some degree by existing and proposed forest management plans for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) and Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus; Thomas et al. 1993).

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Kristiina Ovaska. 2004. Aneides vagrans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59119A11885064. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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