IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Range Description

This species is a remnant of a once diverse plethodontid salamander fauna in the central Rocky Mountains, North America, that was likely reduced by climatic changes over the last 10-14 million years (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Tihen and Wake 1983). The species maintains a disjunctive distribution at elevations up to 1,524 m asl in northern Idaho, western Montana, and southeastern British Columbia (Wilson et al. 1997). Recent surveys have found this species to be more widely distributed than previously known, particularly in British Columbia. The North Fork of the Clearwater and the St. Joe drainages in Idaho, and the lower Clark Fork and Kootenai Rivers in Montana, comprise the core of the species' U.S. distribution (Wilson and Simon 1987, Genter et al. 1988, Groves 1988). The Selway drainage comprises the southern limit of known range in Idaho (Wilson 1990) and Copper Creek and the Moyie River drainage the northern limit (Wilson et al. 1989). In Montana, the southern limit of known distribution is Sweathouse Creek in the Bitterroot River drainage (Wilson and Simon 1987) and the northernmost population is along the South Fork of the Yaak River. Prior to 1999, these salamanders were known only from along watercourses (streams, waterfalls and seepages) that drain into the Moyie River, Duck Lake and Kootenay Lake (Holmberg et al. 1984; Orchard 1990; Charland 1992; Ohanjanian 1997a, 1997b, 1998). Work carried out in 1999 by Dulisse (1999), however, showed that they also occur in the Columbia River drainage; they were found near Lower Arrow Lake at Tulip Falls, in Syringa Creek Provincial Park, west of Castlegar. In 2000, they were found north of Nakusp at a falls that flows into Upper Arrow Lake, on Mark Creek (a tributary of the St. Mary's River near the town of Kimberley), along the east shore of the Duncan Reservoir, in low-elevation (950 m asl) avalanche paths along Howser Creek (east of the Duncan Reservoir), and at additional sites along the east side of Kootenay Lake (Ohanjanian 1999, 2000, Ohanjanian and Beaucher 2000, Ohanjanian et al. 2001). In 2001, Coeur d'Alene Salamanders were found 95 km north of Revelstoke, the most northerly location to date. Although not all localities of occurrence have been identified, the southern, eastern and western edges of the distribution are likely limited by lack of moisture, discontinuous geological formations, and high temperatures (Wilson 1993). The northern limit of current distribution probably represents the extent of successful recolonization of suitable habitat (Lynch 1984).


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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