Batrachoseps attenuatus - (Eschscholtz, 1833)
California Slender Salamander
Other English Common Names: California slender salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Batrachoseps attenuatus (Eschscholtz, 1833) (TSN 173706)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100895
Element Code: AAAAD02020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Batrachoseps
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Batrachoseps attenuatus
Taxonomic Comments: See Boundy (2000) for the most recent taxonomic review of this species, the scope of which has changed in recent decades.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Dec2001
Global Status Last Changed: 17Dec2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Range is moderately small (central California to southwestern Oregon), but this salamander is common in many areas and in diverse habitats, and it does not require pristine conditions; overall, probably there has not been much of a decline.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (SNR), Oregon (S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Boundy (2000) provided an up-to-date description of the range, which has changed in recent years as a result of taxonomic revisions: coastal southwestern Oregon south through north coastal California to the vicinity of the Russian River, thence southward along the coast and through the Coast Ranges and valleys to the northern edge of the Monterey Bay lowlands and the vicinity of Tres Pinos Creek in Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; distributed in the inner Coast Ranges from just north of Newville in Tehama County to the San Luis Reservoir drainage in Merced County; isolated populations occur in the Sacramento Valley at Sutter Buttes, Sutter County, and in riparian zones near the Sacramento River, and near Shasta Reservoir in Shasta County; distribution in the Sierra Nevada foothills extends from near Paradise, Butte County, south to Fiddletown, Amador County.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout the range.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 100,000. Common in many areas.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low

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

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Boundy (2000) provided an up-to-date description of the range, which has changed in recent years as a result of taxonomic revisions: coastal southwestern Oregon south through north coastal California to the vicinity of the Russian River, thence southward along the coast and through the Coast Ranges and valleys to the northern edge of the Monterey Bay lowlands and the vicinity of Tres Pinos Creek in Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; distributed in the inner Coast Ranges from just north of Newville in Tehama County to the San Luis Reservoir drainage in Merced County; isolated populations occur in the Sacramento Valley at Sutter Buttes, Sutter County, and in riparian zones near the Sacramento River, and near Shasta Reservoir in Shasta County; distribution in the Sierra Nevada foothills extends from near Paradise, Butte County, south to Fiddletown, Amador County.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

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

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


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
OR Curry (41015), Josephine (41033)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Sixes (17100306)+*, Lower Rogue (17100310)+*, Illinois (17100311)+, Chetco (17100312)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A wormlike salamander up to about 14 cm long.
Reproduction Comments: Lays 4-21 eggs in late fall and winter; eggs hatch in winter and spring. Frequently several females lay eggs in a communal nest (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Stebbins 1985). Maximum lifespan is several years (Wake and Castanet, 1995, J. Herpetol. 29:60-65).
Ecology Comments: Population density ranges up to about around 1 per 1.5 sq m. Home range may have a radius of about 1.7 m (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Grasslands with scattered trees, chaparral, woodlands, redwood forests; occurs under leaf litter, rotten logs, and surface debris when the surface is moist; retreats to rodent burrows and other cavities in the soil during the dry season. Lays eggs under bark (or other litter) on the ground or in cavities in rotten logs or in the soil (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats a variety of small invertebrates (earthworms, aphids, millipedes, insects, amphipods, etc.)
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures and hot, dry weather. Most active from first fall rains through late spring or summer when the dry season begins (Stebbins 1985).
Length: 14 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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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
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Dec2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 31Oct1995
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
  • AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2005. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: http://amphibiaweb.org/.

  • 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.

  • Boundy, J. 2000. Batrachoseps attenuatus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 701:1-6.

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

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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