Plethodon vandykei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Plethodon vandykei Van Denburgh, 1906
Common Name(s):
English Van Dyke's Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: Plethodon idahoensis was formerly included in this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-02-27
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.
Listed as Least Concern since, although its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 18,924 km2, it occurs in an area of extensive, suitable habitat which appears not to be under significant threat, and it is presumed to have a large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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). It coexists with Dunn salamander southeast of South Bend, Pacific County, Washington (Stebbins 1985). It generally occurs in small isolated subpopulations, up to 1,550 m asl. Its range, taken here as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated at 18,924 km2 (Raffaëlli 2007).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1550
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:About 80 subpopulations are known (Wilson et al. 1995), 70% are considered to be 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. It is considered to be stable, with some slight decline from about 1977 to 1997 (J. Flackenstein pers. comm. 1997). It was probably more widespread 200 years ago.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known from moist coniferous forests and open areas. It is often found on wet soil near seepages, streams, lakes, and rivers, in addition to 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. At least two clutches have been found in nature. One nest was under a moss covered stone; the eggs were in the usual grape-like cluster and attached to the stone by a single gelatinous thread, as in other members of the genus (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 (Jones 1989). The eggs develop directly without a larval stage.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is currently not very threatened, although perhaps some subpopulations may have been extirpated by logging in lowland sites in the 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 a sedentary species, with narrow ecological tolerance and a limited ability to survive in or colonize disturbed habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is adequately protected in Mount St. Helens National Monument and Olympic National Park.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 

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.

Carstens, B. C, Richards, C. L. 2007. Integrating coalescent and ecological niche modeling in comparative phylogeography. Evolution 61(6): 1439-1454.

Carstens, B. C., Stevenson, A. L., Degenhardt, J. D., Sullivan, J. 2004. Testing nested phylogenetic and phylogeographic hypotheses in the Plethodon vandykei species group. Systematic Biology 53(5): 781-792.

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. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

Jones, L.C.C. 1989. Plethodon vandykei (Van Dyke's Salamander). Reproduction . Herpetological Review 20(2): 48.

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.

Raffaëlli, J. 2007. Les Urodèles du monde. Penclen Édition, Condé-sur-Noireau, France.

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

Steele, C. A., Storfer, A. 2007. Phylogeographic incongruence of codistributed amphibian species based on small differences in geographic distribution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43(2): 468-479.

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: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Plethodon vandykei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T59357A56293043. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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