Plethodon vandykei


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Plethodon vandykei
Species Authority: Van Denburgh, 1906
Common Name/s:
English Van Dyke's Salamander
Taxonomic Notes: Plethodon idahoensis formerly was included in this species.

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 since, although its Extent of Occurrence is probably less than 20,000 km2, it occurs in an area of extensive, suitable habitat which appears not to be under significant threat, it has a presumed large population, and 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 Willapa Hills, and Olympic and Cascade mountains, Washington, USA; disjunctive centres in the Willapa Hills, on the Olympic Peninsula, and in the southern Cascade Ranges are separated by glacial and alluvial deposits that might limit the regional distribution (Wilson et al. 1995). Coexists with Dunn salamander southeast of South Bend, Pacific County, Washington (Stebbins 1985). It generally occurs in small isolated populations.
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: About 80 populations are known (Wilson et al. 1995), 70% in excellent to good condition (J. Fleckenstein pers. comm., 1997). Total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds several thousand. It is generally uncommon. Stable to slight decline over past 20 years (J. Flackenstein pers. comm., 1997). Probably was more widespread 200 years ago.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Moist coniferous forests and open areas. Found on wet soil near seepages, streams, lakes, and rivers, also found on talus slopes (especially well-shaded, north-facing slopes). It can also be found under bark, in and under logs, and in leaf-litter in wet weather. Two clutches have been found in nature. One nest was under a moss covered stone; eggs were in the usual grape-like cluster and attached to the stone by a single gelatinous thread, as in other Plethodon (Nussbaum et al. 1983). The other clutch was in a moist, partially rotted log along a stream in old-growth forest (western red-cedar/Douglas-fir/western hemlock/grand fir) in Washington (Herp. Rev. 20:48). The eggs develop directly without a larval stage.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is currently not very threatened; perhaps extirpated by logging in lowland sites in late 1800s (Wilson et al. 1995; J. Fleckenstein pers. comm., 1997). Managed forests generally do not provide the woody debris needed for shelter and nesting (Welsh 1990, Wilson et al. 1995). It is sedentary, with narrow ecological tolerance; limited ability to survive in or colonize disturbed habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Adequately protected in Mount St. Helens National Monument and Olympic National Park.

Bibliography [top]

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.

Brodie, E.D., Jr. and Storm, R.M. 1970. Plethodon vandykei. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 1-2.

Collins, J.T. 1991. Viewpoint: a new taxonomic arrangement for some North American amphibians and reptiles. SSAR Herpetological Review: 42-43.

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

Howard, J.H., Seeb, J.W. and Wallace, R. 1993. Genetic variation and population divergence in the Plethodon vandykei species group (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Herpetologica: 238-247.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.

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.

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.

Wilson, A.G., Jr. and Larsen, J.H. Jr. 1999. Morphometric analysis of salamanders of the Plethodon vandykei species group. American Midland Naturalist: 266-276.

Wilson, A.G. Jr., Larsen, J.H. Jr. and McAllister, K.R. 1995. Distribution of Van Dyke's Salamander (Plethodon vandykei Van Denburgh). American Midland Naturalist: 388-393.

Wilson, A.G., Simon, E. and Larsen, J.H. Jr. 1989. Range extension for the Coeur d'Alene salamander, Plethodon vandykei idahoensis, to the Canada-United States border. Canadian Field-Naturalist: 93-94.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Plethodon vandykei. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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