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Plethodon websteri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA CAUDATA PLETHODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Plethodon websteri
Species Authority: Highton, 1979
Common Name(s):
English Webster's Salamander
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly confused with Plethodon ventralis (formerly a form of P. dorsalis); the two species are morphologically similar but genetically distinct (Highton 1986).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-02-26
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Garcia Moreno, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Garcia Moreno, J.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution and presumed large population. However, population monitoring is needed to determine the status of those subpopulations suspected to have undergone a decline.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in east-central Alabama and adjacent Georgia, with scattered, isolated populations in western South Carolina (Greenwood, Edgefield, and McCormick counties), southwestern Alabama, southern Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA (Conant and Collins 1991, Highton 1986, Dundee and Rossman 1989, Lazell and Mann 1991, Petranka 1998). It occupies less than 4 hectares in Louisiana (S. Shively pers. comm. 1997). There is one documented site in excellent condition in Louisiana (S. Shively pers. comm. 1997). There are four sites mapped in Georgia, based on publication "Distribution of Amphibians and Reptiles in Georgia" (R. MacBeth pers. comm. 1997). In Alabama, there are an estimated 101+ extant occurrences. It is difficult to distinguish from P. ventralis (formerly a form of P. dorsalis) and the two species' distributions overlap; this might result in an overestimate of population numbers. Condition of subpopulations is estimated to be 30% excellent, 20% good, 20% fair, and 30% poor (M. Bailey pers. comm. 1997). There are thirty-nine occurrences from 1980-1995 documented in South Carolina, and an estimated 21-100 extant occurrences; it has been extensively surveyed in the mid-1980s (S. Bennett pers. comm. 1997).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total adult population size is unknown but probably greatly exceeds 10,000. It is possibly extremely abundant in Alabama; it might be confused with P. ventralis (formerly a form of P. dorsalis), resulting in an overestimate of abundance (M. Bailey pers. comm. 1997). It is stable in Louisiana and South Carolina (S. Bennett and S. Shively pers. comm. 1997). It is possibly declining due to loss of habitat in Alabama (M. Bailey pers. comm. 1997).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found in the mesophytic forest (maple, hickory, oak, poplar, and elm) bordering rocky feeder streams; under logs, bark, and leaf-litter on forest floor and along rocky streambeds. It is also found in moist forest on steep north-facing slopes with rock outcrops. It is a terrestrial breeder with direct development in the same habitats. It tolerates some level of disturbance because it persists in second growth forest throughout much of its range.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation and the conversion of deciduous forest to pine monocultures maintained on short harvesting cycles have adversely impacted many populations (Petranka 1998). It is moderately threatened by development and silviculture in Alabama (M. Bailey pers. comm. 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in scattered protected areas (state parks, nature preserves, and national forest). This species is listed as an endangered species in South Carolina and as a species of special concern in Louisiana. Population monitoring is needed for those subpopulations suspected to have undergone a decline.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Plethodon websteri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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