1 March 2007 Declines in Ravine-inhabiting Dusky Salamanders of the Southeastern US Coastal Plain
D. Bruce Means, Joseph Travis
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Gully-eroded and steephead valleys on Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle were sampled for the abundance of four species of ravine-inhabiting, plethodontid salamanders in two separate periods, 25 years apart. In this interval, Desmognathus auriculatus (Southern Dusky Salamander) appears to have gone extinct and the abundance of D. cf. conanti (Spotted Dusky Salamanders) has decreased by about 68%. There was no change in the average abundance of Eurycea cirrigera (Two-lined Salamander). Pseudotriton ruber (Red Salamanders) declined in ravines from which larger populations of D. auriculatus disappeared, but increased in ravines from which smaller populations of D. auriculatus had disappeared. There was a slight increase in the average abundance of P. ruber in ravines that were inhabited by D. cf. conanti, but those changes in P. ruber abundance were unrelated to the changes in the abundance of D. cf. conanti. Declines in populations of D. auriculatus were also noted in Louisiana and Georgia; evidence suggests that all of these declines began in the mid-1970s. There are several potential causes of the regional declines, but no single explanation appears sufficient to explain declines in all populations. Feral pig rooting eliminates the larval seepage habitat of desmognathine salamanders and may be partly responsible for the declines on Eglin Air Force Base.

D. Bruce Means and Joseph Travis "Declines in Ravine-inhabiting Dusky Salamanders of the Southeastern US Coastal Plain," Southeastern Naturalist 6(1), 83-96, (1 March 2007). https://doi.org/10.1656/1528-7092(2007)6[83:DIRDSO]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2007
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