Gyrinophilus subterraneus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Gyrinophilus subterraneus Besharse and Holsinger, 1977
Common Name(s):
English West Virginia Spring Salamander
Taxonomic Notes: Some authors have regarded this species as conspecific with Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (Blaney and Blaney 1978), but the current consensus is that it is a valid species, based on morphometric analyses (Green and Pauley 1987).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Christopher Beachy
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Endangered because its population size is estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to one relatively small cave system: General Davis Cave, Greenbrier County, south-eastern West Virginia, USA (Petranka 1998; Beachy 2005). Cave explorers have observed West Virginia spring salamanders almost 2km beyond the cave entrance.
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Reports typically are of 10 to fewer than 100 individuals per survey; the population size varies but probably totals fewer than 300 individuals.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs during breeding and non-breeding periods in limestone cave stream passages with large amounts of decaying organic matter; it is present in the streams and on mud banks along the streams. It is undoubtedly dependent on high-quality water and the availability of organic material flushed into the cave from outside sources.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No immediate threats are known, but logging has been proposed by the current owner of the watershed, an activity that would lower water quality in the cave where the species occurs. The same owner almost broke through into the cave system during a recent pond construction project.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Nature Conservancy owns an easement on the cave system and has title to one entrance; but another entrance and the entire watershed remain unprotected. Additional taxonomic work is probably necessary to clarify the taxonomic status of this species using both morphometric and molecular analyses.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Christopher Beachy. 2004. Gyrinophilus subterraneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59283A11897278. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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