Aneides vagrans - Wake and Jackman, 1998
Wandering Salamander
Other English Common Names: wandering salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Aneides vagrans Wake and Jackman, 1999 (TSN 668242)
French Common Names: salamandre errante
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104517
Element Code: AAAAD01060
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Aneides
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Jackman, T. R. 1998. Molecular and historical evidence for the introduction of clouded salamanders (genus Aneides) to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, from California. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:1570-1580.
Concept Reference Code: A98JAC01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Aneides vagrans
Taxonomic Comments: Aneides vagrans formerly was included in A. ferreus (see Jackman 1998).

Mahoney (2001) used mtDNA data to examine phylogenetic relationships of western and eastern Plethodon and Aneides. She found strong support for eastern Plethodon as a clade, but monophyly of Aneides was only weakly supported in some analyses, though "the monophyly of this clade is not in doubt." Analyses indicated that Plethodon stormi and P. elongatus are clearly sister taxa, and P. dunni and P. vehiculum also are well-supported sister taxa. Plethodon larselli and P. vandykei appear to be closely related, whereas P. neomexicanus did not group with any other lineage. All analyses yielded a paraphyletic Plethodon but constraint analyses did not allow rejection of a monophyletic Plethodon. Mahoney recommended continued recognition of Aneides as a valid genus and adoption of the metataxon designation forPlethodon*, indicating this status with an asterisk. (A metataxon is a group of lineages for which neither monophyly nor paraphyly can be demonstrated.)
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Mar2005
Global Status Last Changed: 28Feb2000
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Native to coniferous forest/woodland in northwestern California; native or possibly introduced but well established in British Columbia; occurs in burned areas and tolerates a certain amount of logging, but generally is most common in forests where there are large decaying logs on the ground; current status is not well documented.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (28Feb2000)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (23May2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR)
Canada British Columbia (S3)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (02Feb2018)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (02May2014)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: The Canadian distribution of this terrestrial salamander is restricted mainly to low elevation forests on Vancouver Island and adjacent small offshore islands in southwestern British Columbia. These salamanders depend on the availability of moist refuges and large diameter logs on the forest floor, as found in intact forests. The salamanders are threatened by logging, residential development, and severe droughts, storm events, and habitat shifts predicted under climate change. Low reproductive rate, poor dispersal ability, and specific habitat requirements contribute to the vulnerability of the species.

Status history: Designated Special Concern in May 2014.

IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Northern Del Norte and Siskiyou counties, California, south through extreme western Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties in an increasingly narrow, forested coastal strip to the vicinity of Stewart's Point, northwestern Sonoma County, California (Wake and Jackman, in Jackman 1998). Widespread on Vancouver Island and neighboring islands in British Columbia, and also has been found on the mainland, but all of these populations are believed to be derived ultimately from human-mediated introductions that occurred in conjunction with shipments of tan oak bark from California (Wake and Jackman, in Jackman 1998). The widespread occurrence of the species on Vancouver Island, including remote areas, lends support to an alternative hypothesis of dispersal from California during post-glacial times via natural log-rafting on north-flowing ocean currents (COSEWIC 2014).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Many occurrences.

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Loss of mature forest with coarse woody debris on the ground probably is the greatest threat.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Protection of mature and old growth forests is the most important long-term conservation need. Will benefit from existing/proposed conservation measures for spotted owl and marbled murrelet (Thomas et al. 1993).

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Northern Del Norte and Siskiyou counties, California, south through extreme western Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties in an increasingly narrow, forested coastal strip to the vicinity of Stewart's Point, northwestern Sonoma County, California (Wake and Jackman, in Jackman 1998). Widespread on Vancouver Island and neighboring islands in British Columbia, and also has been found on the mainland, but all of these populations are believed to be derived ultimately from human-mediated introductions that occurred in conjunction with shipments of tan oak bark from California (Wake and Jackman, in Jackman 1998). The widespread occurrence of the species on Vancouver Island, including remote areas, lends support to an alternative hypothesis of dispersal from California during post-glacial times via natural log-rafting on north-flowing ocean currents (COSEWIC 2014).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004

Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A lungless salamander; maximum snout-vent length is about 65 mm.
Reproduction Comments: In British Columbia, unhatched clutches of up to 23 eggs were found from late June through early September (Davis 2003). Female attends eggs, but both sexes have been found at nest sites. Eggs hatch in about 60 days. Females probably lay eggs at 2-year intervals.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Site tenacious; moves only short distances; 94 percent of recaptures were within 10 m of the initial capture location (Davis 2002).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Cliff, Forest - Conifer, Woodland - Conifer
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Moist coniferous forests; in forest edge, forest clearings, talus, and burned over areas. Usually found under bark, in rotten logs, or in rock crevices. May aggregate in decayed logs in summer. Requires large (greater than 20 inches in diameter) down logs of mid-decay classes with sloughing bark (Thomas et al. 1993). Logs are primary microhabitat in spring, summer, and fall on Vancouver Island (Davis 2002). Sometimes climbs high into trees. Lays eggs in cavities in rotten logs, in rock crevices, under bark, or among vegetation. Welsh and Wilson (1995) reported a clutch that had been in a fern clump at the base of a limb 30-40 meters above ground in a large redwood tree.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic. Feeds on small arthropods (e.g., beetles, ants, isopods, spiders, and mites) (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures and hot, dry weather.
Length: 13 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Terrestrial Plethodontid Salamanders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway, especially with high traffic volume at night; major river or lake; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Rivers and lakes pose formidable impediments to movement and generally function as barriers, with the effect increasing with river and lake size. Treatment of these as barriers or unsuitable habitat is a subjective determination.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but it is clear that home ranges tend to be very small (e.g., Marvin 2001), on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in diameter. For example, Welsh and Lind (1992) found that over six months, 66% of Plethodon elongatus males and 80% of females recaptured were in the same 7.5 x 7.5 m grid, and the maximum distance moved was 36.2 m. D. Clayton (pers. comm 1998) estimated that average home ranges may be as small as one square meter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing plethodontids likely travel at least several hundred meters. The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the limited movements of these salamanders, tempered by their tendency to occur throughout patches of suitable habitat and the likely low probability that two locations separated by a gap of less than a few kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent occurrences over the long term.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02May2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10Nov2003
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

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

  • COSEWIC. 2014l. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Wandering Salamander Aneides vagrans in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. xi + 44 pp.

  • Cook, F. R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian amphibians and reptiles. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Corkran, C. C., and C. Thoms. 1996. Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, Alberta. 175 pp.

  • Davis, T. M. 2002a. Microhabitat use and movements of the wandering salamander, Aneides vagrans, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Herpetology 36:699-703.

  • Davis, T. M. 2003. Aneides vagrans (wandering salamander). Reproduction. Herpetological Review 34:133.

  • Davis, T.M. 2002b. An ethogram of intraspecific agonistic and display behavior for the Wandering Salamander, Aneides vagrans. Herpetologica. 58:371-382.

  • Davis, T.M. and Gregory, P.T. 1993. Status of the Clouded Salamander in British Columbia. Wildlife Working Report WR-53 prepared for B.C. Environment, Wildlife Branch. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

  • Jackman, T. R. 1998. Molecular and historical evidence for the introduction of clouded salamanders (genus Aneides) to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, from California. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:1570-1580.

  • Leonard, W. P., H. A. Brown, L. L. C. Jones, K. R. McAllister, and R. M. Storm. 1993. Amphibians of Washington and Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. viii + 168 pp.

  • Mahoney, M. J. 2001. Molecular systematics of Plethodon and Aneides (Caudata: Plethodontini): phylogenetic analysis of an old and rapid radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18:174-188.

  • Matsuda, B.M., D.M. Green and P.T. Gregory. 2006. Royal BC Museum handbook amphibians and reptiles of British Columbia. Royal B.C. Mus., Victoria, BC. 266pp.

  • McKenzie, D.S. and R.M. Storm. 1970. Patterns of habitat selection in the clouded salamander, Aneides ferreus (Cope). Herpetologica 26(4):450-454.

  • Nussbaum, R.A., E.D. Brodie, Jr., and R.M. Storm. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 332 pp.

  • Ovaska, K, S. Lennart, C Engelstoft, L. Matthias, E. Wind and J. MacGarvie. 2004. Best Management Practices for Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Rural Environments in British Columbia. Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection, Ecosystems Standards and Planning, Biodiversity Branch

  • Ryder, G.R. and R.W. Campbell. 2004. First occurrence of wandering salamander on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Notes 1:1 2004. 2 pp.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 2003. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

  • Stelmock, J.J. and Harestad, A.S. 1979. Food habits and life history of the Clouded salamander (Aneides ferreus) on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Syesis. 12:71-75.

  • 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, Portland Oregon. 530 pp.

  • 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. 530 pp. Portland, Oregon.

  • Wake, D. 1965. Aneides ferreus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 16:1-2.

  • Weller, W. F., and D. M. Green. 1997. Checklist and current status of Canadian amphibians. Pages 309-328 in D. M. Green, editor. Amphibians in decline: Canadian studies of a global problem. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Herpetological Conservation 1.

  • Welsh, H. W., Jr., and R. A. Wilson. 1995. Aneides ferreus (clouded salamander). Reproduction. Herpetological Review 26:196-197.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.