Desmognathus orestes


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Desmognathus orestes
Species Authority: Tilley and Mahoney, 1996
Common Name(s):
English Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, USA, from Floyd County, Virginia, to somewhere between Linville Falls and McKinney Gap on the Blue Ridge Divide (Burke and McDowell counties, North Carolina) and to the headwaters of Toms and Clark creeks about 1.5km northeast of Iron Mountain Gap on the North Carolina-Tennessee boundary (Tilley and Mahoney 1996) (this headwaters area is in Mitchell and Unicoi counties, according to Tilley and Mahoney 1996, or in Avery and Carter counties, according to Petranka 1998).
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is common at higher elevations throughout its range (Petranka 1998).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found at lower elevations and in winter usually concentrates near seepage areas, springs and small streams. Animals may range into adjacent wooded areas in wet weather. It is more terrestrial at higher elevations, characteristic inhabitant of floor of spruce-fir forests. It is often abundant on wet rock faces. Eggs are laid in wet rock crevices or under rocks, logs, or moss in seepage areas or near small streams. The larvae develop in water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): "Local populations are often severely depressed after clear-cutting, and low-elevation populations might take many decades to recover following intensive timbering" (Petranka et al. 1994, Petranka 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is in minimal need of protection (Petranka 1998). It occurs in several protected areas.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Desmognathus orestes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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