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Columbia torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton kezeri)

Detailed Description

Torrent salamanders are Northwest-U.S. endemic, headwater-stream-associated amphibian species that have a dearth of basic ecological information, but are thought to be highly vulnerable to habitat changes. This taxon currently has two candidates for listing by the Endangered Species Act: the Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae) and the Columbia torrent salamander (R. kezeri). A Columbia torrent salamander is pictured here, in the northern extent of its range near Olympia, WA. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has identified two areas of pre-listing information needs for these species: (1) an inventory of current distribution and occupancy, and characterization of suitable habitat to aid in identifying potential areas of ongoing and future range contractions; (2) development of environmental DNA (eDNA) primers and sampling protocol. In collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University, Dr. Lindsey Thurman (USGS NOROCK) is leading research efforts to address these needs and provide a comprehensive overview of current and future distributions for these torrent salamanders. This research is jointly funded by USGS And USFWS. 


Public Domain.