Batrachoseps wrightorum - (Bishop, 1937)
Oregon Slender Salamander
Other English Common Names: Oregon slender salamander
Synonym(s): Batrachoseps wrighti (Bishop, 1937)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Batrachoseps wrighti (Bishop, 1937) (TSN 173712)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100214
Element Code: AAAAD02100
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 wrighti
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly known as Batrachoseps wrighti (see Crother et al. 2003).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Jan2013
Global Status Last Changed: 23Jan2013
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Small range in Oregon; declining due to logging practices that have eliminated or reduced optimal microhabitat. Although the population is not in serious decline, the following features make it vulnerable: small range, dependence on late-successional characteristics, need for downed and decaying large logs.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (23Jan2013)

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 Oregon (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes western Oregon from the Columbia River Gorge in Multnomah and Hood River counties southward in the Cascade Mountains to southern Lane County; most of the range is on the western slopes of the Cascades, but several sites are on the eastern slope in Hood River and Wasco counties (Kirk 1991; Stebbins 2003; Storm, in Jones et al. 2005; see also 1991 Herp. Rev. 22:22-23). Elevational range extends from 15 meters in the Columbia River Gorge to around 1,430 meters (Stebbins 2003). This salamander occurs in scattered and often widely separated colonies (Stebbins 2003). See Nussbaum et al. (1983) and Kirk (1991) for spot maps.

Area of Occupancy: 126-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy is estimated at 446 4-km2 grid cells.

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Nussbaum et al. (1983) mapped 20 collection sites. Kirk (1991) mapped 42 collection sites. Oregon Biodiversity Information Center reported 222 "extant records."

Population Size: 1000 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably is at least a few thousand. This salamander is generally scarce, but sometimes it is locally common (Stebbins 2003). In the core of the range, Vesely (1999) found this species to be the most numerous salamander species in late successional forest.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species has declined as a result of widespread logging practices that have eliminated or reduced the favored microhabitat (large, moist, well-decayed, downed wood) (Bury and Corn 1988; Gilbert and Allwine 1991; Storm, in Jones et al. 2005). Large, decayed logs used by slender salamanders for nesting are rare in clearcuts and plantations, and so forests intensively managed on short harvest rotations may represent population sinks (Vesely 1999).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: This species probably is still declining due to past and ongoing timber harvest that may result in slow, long-term decline that may not be evident during surveys done soon after timber harvest. The degree of decline is unknown.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Long-term Trend Comments: Area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, population size, and habitat quality have declined over the long term, but the degree of decline is not precisely known.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Range includes western Oregon from the Columbia River Gorge in Multnomah and Hood River counties southward in the Cascade Mountains to southern Lane County; most of the range is on the western slopes of the Cascades, but several sites are on the eastern slope in Hood River and Wasco counties (Kirk 1991; Stebbins 2003; Storm, in Jones et al. 2005; see also 1991 Herp. Rev. 22:22-23). Elevational range extends from 15 meters in the Columbia River Gorge to around 1,430 meters (Stebbins 2003). This salamander occurs in scattered and often widely separated colonies (Stebbins 2003). See Nussbaum et al. (1983) and Kirk (1991) for spot maps.

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: endemic to a single state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States 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 Clackamas (41005), Hood River (41027), Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Marion (41047), Multnomah (41051), Wasco (41065)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Lower Deschutes (17070306)+, Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001)+, Middle Fork Willamette (17090001)+, Upper Willamette (17090003)+, Mckenzie (17090004)+, North Santiam (17090005)+, South Santiam (17090006)+, Middle Willamette (17090007)+, Molalla-Pudding (17090009)+, Clackamas (17090011)+, Lower Willamette (17090012)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A terrestrial salamander.
Reproduction Comments: Terrestrial breeder; no aquatic larval stage. Females with eggs have been found in April, May, and June (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Mixed, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes moist Douglas-fir and mixed maple, hemlock, and red-cedar woodlands. This species occurs most abundantly in well-decayed pieces of coarse woody debris and thus is dependent on conditions that are most typical of mature and old-growth stands (Bury and Corn 1988, Gilbert and Allwine 1991, Vesely 1999). It is rare or at least difficult to detect in recent clearcuts (Bury and Corn 1988, Vesely 1999). (Bury and Corn (1988) found that fewer numbers occurred in logged than in mature forests. In time-constrained searches, Gilbert and Allwine (1991) found an average of 1.26 individuals per stand in old growth, 2.10 in mature, and 2.1 in young growth (naturally regenerated forest); however, logs of all decay-classes were abundant in all of their study areas. Vesely (1999) found that Oregon slender salamanders were most numerous in closed-canopy conditions and on east- and west-facing aspects than in open-canopy situations and north- and south-facing slopes. This species also occurs under moss-covered rocks in the Columbia River Gorge and in stabilized talus and lava flows elsewhere (Nussbaum et al. 1983; Storm, in Jones et al. 2005). Individuals can be found under rocks, logs, bark, and moss, and in rotting logs, stumps, holes and crevices in the ground, and termite burrows. Nests have been found under bark and in rotten logs (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Specimens collected in Hidden Lake, Lane County, Oregon, had consumed collembolans, pseudoscorpions, mites, dipteran larvae and adults, spiders, snails, beetle larvae and adults, centipedes, and earthworms (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures and hot, dry weather. Adults become active above ground in April or May.
Length: 12 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: This salamander's precise ecological requirements need to be determined (Blaustein et al. 1995).
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: 23Jan2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gaines, E., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Feb2008
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
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  • 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.

  • Blaustein, A. R., J. J. Beatty, D. H. Olson, R. M. Storm. 1995. The biology of amphibians and reptiles in old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. General Technical Report. PNW-GTR-337. Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, Portland, Oregon. 98 pp.

  • Bury, R. B. 2005. Batrachoseps wrighti (Bishop, 1937). Oregon slender salamander. Pages 695-696 in M. L. Lannoo (editor). Amphibian declines: the conservation status of United States species. University of California Press, Berkeley.

  • Bury, R. B., and P. S. Corn. 1988b. Douglas-fir forests in the Oregon and Washington Cascades: relation of the herpetofauna to stand age and moisture. Pages 11-22 in Management of amphibians, reptiles and small mammals in North America. USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-166.

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

  • Crother, B. I., J. Boundy, J. A. Campbell, K. de Quieroz, D. Frost, D. M. Green, R. Highton, J. B. Iverson, R. W. McDiarmid, P. A. Meylan, T. W. Reeder, M. E. Seidel, J. W. Sites, Jr., S. G. Tilley, and D. B. Wake. 2003. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico: update. Herpetological Review 34:198-203.

  • 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.

  • Frost, D. R. 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • Frost, Darrel R. 2009. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. V5.3 (12 February 2009). Electronic database available at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

  • Gilbert, F. F., and R. Allwine. 1991. Terrestrial amphibian communities in the Oregon Cascade Range. Pages 318-324 in L. F. Ruggiero, K. B. Aubry, A. B. Carey, and M. H. Huff, technical coordinators. Wildlife and vegetation of unmanaged Douglas-fir forests. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-285, Portland, OR.

  • Jones, L.L.C., W. P. Leonard, and D. H. Olson, editors. 2005. Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. xii + 227 pp.

  • Kirk, J.J. 1991. Batrachoseps wrighti. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 506:1-3.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Vesely, D. G. 1999. Habitat selection by Oregon slender salmanders (Batrachoseps wrighti) in the western Oregon Cascades. Final report to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Vesely, D.G. and W.C. McComb. 2002. Salamander abundance and amphibian species richness in riparian buffer strips in the Oregon Coast Range. Forest Science. 48: 291 - 297.

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