Plethodon larselli 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Plethodon larselli Burns, 1953
Common Name(s):
English Larch Mountain Salamander

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, Robert Herrington
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because, although its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, it occurs in a habitat that is not under significant threat, and so it is probably not in decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species can be found in the USA along the Columbia River Gorge in the Washington and Oregon Cascades, and as four populations near Mount Saint Helens and just south of Mount Rainier. It is found at altitudes up to 1,036m asl (Leonard et al. 1993).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It can be common in optimal microhabitats. Washington State's Department of Fish and Wildlife had 67 unique records for this species as of 1997 (Dvornich, McAllister and Aubry 1997). Most of these sites are expected to be extant, though some of them might represent single populations. There are approximately 15 populations in Oregon. The total adult population size is unknown, but populations are small. Populations appear stable, and new populations are being discovered in Washington State (L.A. Hallock pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits lava talus slopes in Douglas fir stands, and is typically found under canopy cover in talus of suitable size that has accumulated considerable amounts of humus. It rests under rocks and bark and in rotten wood (Stebbins 1985b), and moves deep under talus in cold weather or when it is dry or hot. Breeding occurs in the same habitats in late autumn or spring on warm rainy nights. This species does not tolerate the loss of canopy cover, which appears to allow congeners to out-compete it (Herrington 1985).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened in some areas by logging (which changes the microclimate and composition of the talus slopes) and by the use of taluses for road construction (Herrington 1988; Pfrender 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many populations are protected within the Columbia River National Scenic Area (Leonard et al. 1993), but populations on national forest and private land might not be adequately protected.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Aubry, K.B., Senger, C.M. and Crawford, R.L. 1987. Discovery of Larch Mountain salamanders Plethodon larselli in the Central Cascade Range of Washington. Biological Conservation: 147-152.

Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York.

Blackburn, L., Nanjappa, P. and Lannoo, M.J. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA.

Burns, D. 1964. Plethodon larselli. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 13.1.

Bury, R.B., Dodd, Jr., C.K. and Fellers, G.M. 1980. Conservation of the Amphibia of the United States: a review. Resource Publication: 1-34.

Dvornich, K.M., McAllister, K.R. and Aubry, K.B. 1997. Amphibians and reptiles of Washington State: Location data and predicted distributions, Vol. 2. In: Cassidy, K.M., Grue, C.E., Smith, M.R. and Dvornich, K.M. (eds), Washington State Gap Analysis - Final Report, Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Frost, D.R. 1985. Amphibian Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Allen Press and the Association of Systematic Collections, Lawrence, Kansas.

Herrington, R.E. 1985. The ecology, reproductive biology, and management of the Larch Mountain salamander, (Plethodon larselli Burns) with comparisons to two other sympatric Plethodons. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Zoology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.

Herrington, R.E. 1988. Talus use by Amphibians and Reptiles in the Pacific Northwest. In: Szaro, R., Severson, K. and Patton, D. (eds), Management of Amphibians, Reptiles and Small Mammals in North America, pp. 216-221. UDSA Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-166.

Herrington, R.E. and Larsen, J.H. 1983. Geographic distribution: Plethodon larselli. Herpetological Review: 83.

Herrington, R.E. and Larsen, Jr, J.H. 1985. Current status, habitat requirements and management of the Larch Mountain salamander Plethodon larselli Burns. Biological Conservation: 169-179.

Herrington, R.E. and Larsen, Jr, J.H. 1987. Reproductive biology of the Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli). Journal of Herpetology: 48-56.

Howard, J.H., Wallace, R.L. and Larsen, J.H. Jr. 1983. Genetic variation and population divergence in the Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli). Herpetologica: 41-47.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

Leonard, W.P., Brown, H.A., Jones, L.L.C., McAllister, K.R. and Storm, R.M. 1993. Amphibians of Washington and Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington.

Mahoney, M.J. 2001. Molecular systematics of Plethodon and Aneides (Caudata: Plethodontidae): phylogenetic analysis of an old and rapid radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: 174-188.

Nussbaum, R.A., Brodie, Jr., E.D. and Storm, R.M. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA.

Olson, D.H., editor. 1999. Survey protocols for amphibians under the survey and manage provision of the Northwest Forest Plan, Version 3.0, 19 March 1999.

Pfrender, M. 1993. Conservation status and biology of the Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli Burns). Unpublished report, pp. 16 pp.

Stebbins, R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thomas, J.W., Ward, J., Raphael, M.G., Anthony, R.G., Forsman, E.D., Gunderson, A.G., Holthausen, R.S., Marcot, B.G., Reeves, G.H., Sedell, J.R. and Solis, D.M. 1993. Viability assessments and management considerations for species associated with late-successional and old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. The report of the Scientific Analysis Team. USDA Forest Service, Spotted Owl EIS Team, pp. 530 pp. Portland, Oregon.

Washington Department of Wildlife. 1993. Status of the Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli) in Washington. Unpublished report, pp. 14 pp. Washington Department of Wildlife, Olympia.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Robert Herrington. 2004. Plethodon larselli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T17625A7204411. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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