Rhyacotriton cascadae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Rhyacotritonidae

Scientific Name: Rhyacotriton cascadae Good & Wake, 1992
Common Name(s):
English Cascade Torrent 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
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because its Extent of Occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km2, and its habitat is in decline, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species can be found on the west slope of the Cascade Mountains from just north of Mount Saint Helens, Skamania County, Washington, south to north-eastern Lane County, Oregon, USA (Good and Wake 1992).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:McAllister (1995) mapped approximately 53 collections or verified sighting locations in Washington. It is fairly common in appropriate habitat (Leonard et al. 1993), and its population is stable in Oregon (E. Gaines pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It can be found in coniferous forests in small, cold mountain streams and spring seepages. Larvae often occur under stones in shaded streams. Adults also inhabit these streams or the streamsides in saturated moss-covered talus, or under rocks in the splash zone. This species is found primarily in older forest sites since the required microclimatic and microhabitat conditions generally exist only in older forests (Welsh 1990). Two Rhyacotriton nests were found in deep, narrow rock crevices, and the eggs were lying in cold, slow-moving water (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is sensitive to increased temperature and sedimentation, such as may result from logging or road construction for logging access. Timber harvesting negatively affects Rhyacotriton salamanders more than it does other amphibians in the same area (Bury and Corn 1988b; Corn and Bury 1989). Some populations are isolated by intervening areas of unsuitable habitat, and these are then vulnerable to extirpation through natural processes exacerbated by timber harvest (especially of old growth stands on north-facing slopes). This species is moderately threatened in Oregon (E. Gaines pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in some protected areas. Its conservation needs include retention of old-growth forest buffers around headwater streams (Petranka 1998).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.9. Wetlands (inland) - Freshwater Springs and Oases
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

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
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
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, J.D. 1968. Rhyacotriton , R. olympicus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 1-2.

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, J.B. 1995. Status review of the Southern Torrent Salamander in California. Report to the Fish and Game Commission. California Dept. of Fish and Game, pp. 23 pp.

Bury, R.B. and Corn, P.S. 1988. Responses of aquatic and streamside amphibians to timber harvest: a review. In: Raedaeke, K. (ed.), Streamside management: riparian wildlife and forestry interactions, pp. 165-181. Univ. Washington.

Corn, P.S. and Bury, R.B. 1989. Logging in western Oregon: responses of headwater habitats and stream amphibians. Forest Ecology and Management: 39-57.

Diller, L.V. and Wallace, R.L. 1996. Distribution and habitat of Rhyacotriton variegatus in managed, young growth forests in north coastal California. Journal of Herpetology: 184-191.

Good, D.A. and Wake, D.B. 1992. Geographic variation and speciation in the torrent salamanders of the genus Rhyacotriton (Caudata: Rhyacotritonidae). University of California Publications in Zoology: 1-91.

Good, D.A., Wurst, G.Z. and Wake, D.B. 1987. Patterns of geographic variation in allozymes of the Olympic salamander, Rhyacotriton olympicus (Caudata: Dicamptodontidae). Fieldiana Zoology: 15 pp.

Highton, R. 2000. Detecting cryptic species using allozyme data. In: R.C. Bruce, R.G. Jaeger and L.D. Houck (eds), The Biology of Plethodontid Salamanders, pp. 215-241. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York.

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

Jennings, M.R. and Hayes, M.P. 1994. Amphibian and reptile species of special concern in California. Final Report submitted to the California Department of Fish and Game, Inland Fisheries Division. Contract No. 8023.

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.

McAllister, K.R. 1995. Distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Washington State. Northwest Fauna: 81-112.

Nijhuis, M.J. and Kaplan, R.H. 1998. Movement patterns and life history characteristics in a population of the cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae) in the Columbia River gorge, Oregon. Journal of Herpetology: 301-304.

Nussbaum, R.A. and Tait, C.K. 1977. Aspects of the life history and ecology of the Olympic salamander, Rhyacoitriton olympicus (Gaige). American Midland Naturalist: 176-199.

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.

Petranka, J.W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

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.

Welsh, H.H., Jr. 1990. Relictual amphibians and old-growth forests. Conservation Biology: 309-319.

Welsh, H.H., Jr. and Lind, A.J. 1992. Population ecology of two relictual salamanders from the Klamath Mountains of Northwestern California. In: McCullough D.R. and Barrett, R.H. (eds), Wildlife 2001: Populations, pp. 419-437. Elsevier Applied Science, London.

Welsh, H.H., Jr. and Lind, A.J. 1996. Habitat correlates of the southern torrent salamander, Rhyacotriton variegatus (Caudata: Rhyacotritonidae), in northwestern California. Journal of Herpetology: 385-398.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Rhyacotriton cascadae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59435A11941314. . Downloaded on 15 July 2018.
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