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Plethodon welleri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA CAUDATA PLETHODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Plethodon welleri
Species Authority: Walker, 1931
Common Name(s):
English Weller's Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, David Beamer
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in Whitetop, Mount Rogers, and Pine Mountain, Virginia, south-westward to Yancy County, North Carolina, extreme eastern Tennessee, and eastward to Grandfather Mountain, Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA (Pague 1991). Populations are apparently isolated from each other (Pague 1991). It occurs at elevations of 760m asl or more, but chiefly in spruce forests above 1,500m asl (Conant and Collins 1991).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations in North Carolina and Virginia are believed to be declining (H. LeGrand and S. Roble pers. comm. 1997). Grandfather Mountain (North Carolina) and Mount Rogers (Virginia) populations are large and probably stable (W. Van Devender pers. comm. 1997; D.A. Beamer pers. comm. 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits spruce-fir, birch-hemlock, and primarily deciduous forests, and is also found in grassy spots and boulder fields. It is usually found under rocks or logs, or in leaf-litter, during the day, and tends to be associated with rocky substrates. Breeding and non-breeding habitats are the same. The eggs are laid in small cavities in rotting conifer logs or beneath moss mats. It is apparently not tolerant of habitat disturbance.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is habitat loss due to development and logging (Braswell 1989). Forest fragmentation, catastrophic fires, or forest die-off resulting from acid rain or spruce budworm could have significant adverse effects on the relatively small isolated populations (see Pague 1991). Most populations are protected to some degree by their occurrence at high elevations (Petranka 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Virginia, much of the range occurs in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, primarily in zones designated as protected. However, fragmentation could threaten this population (Pague 1991). The Grandfather Mountain population currently receives adequate protection by the current landowner. Due to the generally small and isolated populations of this species, all populations are vulnerable to accidents or policy changes in land management (Braswell 1989). It is listed as a species of special concern in North Carolina and Virginia and as Wildlife in Need of Management in Tennessee.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, David Beamer 2004. Plethodon welleri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 December 2014.
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