The Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) is a state-listed threatened species endemic to three mountain ranges in south-central New Mexico. Information about the ecological requirements of this species is inadequate for managers to make informed conservation decisions, yet changes in management practices are needed throughout the species range because of poor forest health. During summer 2004, we examined patterns of A. hardii distribution in relation to several abiotic and biotic parameters on 36 plots, each of which was 9.6-ha in area and located in mixed conifer forest. We evaluated 18 a priori logistic regression models using Akaike's Information Criterion corrected for small-sample bias (AICc). The model with the highest ranking (lowest AICc value) included soil moisture and soil temperature, and the second highest ranked model (ΔAICc = 0.05) included only soil temperature. Soil temperature was lower, and soil moisture was higher on plots where salamanders were detected. The relative importance of canopy cover and log volume was low in this study likely because the study plots, all of which had sufficient canopy cover and log volume, had similar disturbance history. We recommend managers focus on practices that ensure salamander microhabitats remain cool and moist in conservation areas.
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