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Amphibian DeclinesThe Conservation Status of United States Species$
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Michael Lannoo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235922

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235922.001.0001

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Declines of Eastern North American Woodland Salamanders (Plethodon)

Declines of Eastern North American Woodland Salamanders (Plethodon)

(p.34) Eight Declines of Eastern North American Woodland Salamanders (Plethodon)
Amphibian Declines

Richard Highton

University of California Press

Recent declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been reported in many areas of the world. A majority of the documented declines are in easily detectable anuran species, including flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma cingulatum), southern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus auriculatus), and green salamanders (Aneides aeneus. However, other published reports indicate little change in eastern salamander populations. Since 1951, the author has done a great deal of fieldwork in eastern North America in the course of studies on the life histories, systematics, population genetics, and molecular evolution of the plethodontid genus Plethodon — the largest genus of salamanders in the United States (fifty-three presently recognized species). His findings indicate widespread declines in eastern North American populations of woodland salamanders in the region. The cause(s) of these population declines is (are) unknown, except that extensive habitat destruction by logging occurred at sixteen sites (twenty-two populations); but this accounts for only a small proportion of the observed declines.

Keywords:   North America, life histories, systematics, population genetics, molecular evolution, population declines, woodland salamanders, habitat destruction, logging

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