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MonographDOI

Conservation assessment of the Sacramento Mountain salamander

01 Jan 1997-

About: The article was published on 1997-01-01 and is currently open access. It has received 5 citation(s) till now. The article focuses on the topic(s): Salamander.
Topics: Salamander (72%)

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USDA
United
States
^^^2
Department
of
Agriculture
Forest
Service
Rocky
Mountain
Forest
and
Range
Experiment
Station
Fort
Collins,
Colorado
80526
General
Technical
Report
RM-GTR-293
MM
Conservation
Assessment
of
the
Sacramento
l\/)oi%t^n
Sala^aitd0r
Kec.ivadbir.
OjS^
Indexing
Braacb
Cynthia
A. Ramotnik

Abstract
Ramotnik, Cynthia A. 1997. Conservation
assessment of the
Sacramento
Mountain
salamander. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-293.
Fort Collins,
CO:
U.S.
Department
of
Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Forest
and Range Expenment
Station.
19
p.
This
document synthesizes existing information
on the Sacramento
Mountain sala-
mander,
a
terrestrial
amphibian endemic to three mountain
ranges in
southern New
Mexico. The salamander
is found
in
mixed-conifer forests
primarily
on
USDA
Forest
Service lands, within and under
decayed
logs,
and beneath rocks and litter.
Because
the salamander depends on
a
moist microhabitat,
it
is vulnerable
to actions that directly
or
indirectly reduce
the
amount of moisture available
to it.
This
assessment will assist
land managers in
making informed
evaluations regarding
consequences of manage-
ment decisions and guide them toward
a coordinated approach
in
the
context of
ecosystem management.
Keywords: Amphibia, Plethodontidae, Aneides hardii, mixed-conifer forest,
logging. New
Mexico
The
Author
Cynthia A. Ramotnik is a museum
specialist with
the
U.S.
Geological Survey, Biological
Resources
Division (formerly the National Biological Service), and is stationed
at
the
University of New Mexico
in Albuquerque. She obtained
a
B.S. in biology from the State
University of New York at Oneonta
and an
M.S.
in zoology from Colorado State
University.
Ramotnik has conducted research on New
Mexico's endemic salamanders
since 1984. Her research
interests include museum collection management and
taxonomy and distribution of vertebrates, particularly
amphibians, reptiles, and mam-
mals, in
the
Southwest.
Publisher
Rocky Mountain
Forest and Range
Experiment Station
Fort Collins,
Colorado
July 1997
You may order additional copies
of this publication
by
sending your mailing informa-
tion in label form through one of the following media. Please send the publication
title
and number.
Telephone
(970)
498-1719
DG message
R.Schneider:S28A
FAX
(970)
498-1660
E-mail
/s=r.schneider/ou1=s28a@mhs-fswa.attmail.com
Mailing
Address
Publications Distribution
Rocky Mountain
Forest
and Range
Experiment
Station
3825 E. Mulberry Street
Fort Collins,
CO
80524
Cover
photo
of Sacramento
Mountain Salamander
by
Taro
Narahashi.

Conservation
Assessment
of the
Sacramento
Mountain
Salamander
Cynthia A. Ramotnik
Contents
Introduction
1
Administrative
Status 1
Review of
Technical Knowledge
3
Systematics
3
Description
3
Geographic Description
3
Habitat Description
5
General Ecology
6
Reproductive Biology
9
Threats
to
Survival
10
Conservation
Status
13
Research
Needs
16
Acknowledgments
17
Literature Cited
17

Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results suggest that most amphibian populations should decrease more often than they increase, due to highly variable recruitment and less variable adult mortality.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract Declines and losses of amphibian populations are a global problem with complex local causes. These may include ultraviolet radiation, predation, habitat modification, environmental acidity and toxicants, diseases, changes in climate or weather patterns, and interactions among these factors. Understanding the extent of the problem and its nature requires an understanding of how local factors affect the dynamics of local populations. Hypotheses about population behavior must be tested against appropriate null hypotheses. We generated null hypotheses for the behavior of amphibian populations using a model, and we used them to test hypotheses about the behavior of 85 time series taken from the literature. Our results suggest that most amphibian populations should decrease more often than they increase, due to highly variable recruitment and less variable adult mortality. During the period covered by our data (1951–1997), more amphibian populations decreased than our model predicted. However, there ...

1,081 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Hartwell H. Welsh1, Sam Droege2Institutions (2)
TL;DR: The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodontids than in lepidoptera, passerine birds, small mammals, or other amphibians, which means plehodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health.
Abstract: Terrestrial salamanders of the family Plethodontidae have unique attributes that make them excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in forested habitats. Their longevity, small territory size, site fidelity, sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, tendency to occur in high densities, and low sampling costs mean that counts of plethodontid salamanders provide numerous advantages over counts of other North American forest organisms for indicating environmental change. Furthermore, they are tightly linked physiologically to microclimatic and successional processes that influence the distribution and abundance of numerous other hydrophilic but difficult-to-study forest-dwelling plants and animals. Ecosystem processes such as moisture cycling, food-web dynamics, and succession, with their related structural and microclimatic variability, all affect forest biodiversity and have been shown to affect salamander populations as well. We determined the variability associated with sampling for plethodontid salamanders by estimating the coefficient of variation (CV ) from available time-series data. The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodontids (27%) than in lepidoptera (93%), passerine birds (57%), small mammals (69%), or other amphibians (37–46%), which means plethodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health. Resumen: Las salamandras terrestres de la familia Plethodontidae tienen atributos unicos que las hacen excelentes indicadores de la biodiversidad y la integridad del ecosistema en habitats forestales. Su longevidad, sus territorios de tamano pequeno, su fidelidad de sitio, su sensibilidad a las perturbaciones naturales y antropogenicas, su tendencia a ocurrir en densidades altas y los bajos costos de muestreo indican que los conteos de salamandras plethodontidas proveen numerosas ventajas sobre otros organismos de los bosques de Norteamerica para representar cambios ambientales. Ademas, estas salamandras estan estrechamente ligadas fisiologicamente a procesos microclimaticos y sucesionales que influencian las distribuciones y abundancias de otras especies de plantas y animales hidrofilicas que habitan los bosques, pero que son dificiles de estudiar. Los procesos de los ecosistemas tales como el ciclo de humedad, las dinamicas de la red alimenticia y la sucesion, con su variabilidad estructural y microclimatica inherente, afectan la biodiversidad forestal y ha sido demostrado que afectan tambien a las poblaciones de salamandras. Determinamos la variabilidad asociada con el muestreo de salamandras plethodontidas mediante la estimacion del coeficiente de variacion (CV ) a partir de datos accesibles de series de tiempo. La mediana del CV indico que la variacion en los conteos de individuos entre estudios fue mucho menor en plethodontidos (27%) que en lepidopteros (93%), aves paserinas (57%), mamiferos pequenos (69%) y otros anfibios (37–46%), lo cual significa que las salamandras plethodontidas proveen una importante ventaja estadistica sobre las otras especies para el monitoreo a largo plazo de la salud del bosque.

265 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
David M. Green1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: Among the populations examined, census declines outnumbered increases yet the average magnitudes for both declines and increases were not demonstrably different, substantiating findings of amphibian decline and giving no support for the idea that amphibian population sizes are dictated by regimes featuring relatively rare years of high recruitment offset by intervening years of gradual decline.
Abstract: Even among widespread species with high reproductive potentials and significant dispersal abilities, the probability of extinctions should be correlated both with population size variance and with the extent of population isolation. To address how variation in demographic characteristics and habitat requirements may reflect on the comparative risk of species decline, I examined 617 time series of population census data derived from 89 amphibian species using the normalized estimate of the realized rate of increase, ΔN, and its variance. Amphibians are demonstrably in general decline and exhibit a great range of dispersal abilities, demographic characteristics, and population sizes. I compared species according to life-history characteristics and habitat use. Among the populations examined, census declines outnumbered increases yet the average magnitudes for both declines and increases were not demonstrably different, substantiating findings of amphibian decline. This gives no support for the idea that amphibian population sizes are dictated by regimes featuring relatively rare years of high recruitment offset by intervening years of gradual decline such that declines may outnumber increases without negative effect. For any given population size, those populations living in large streams or in ponds had significantly higher variance than did populations of completely terrestrial or other stream-dwelling amphibians. This could not be related to life-history complexity as all the stream-breeding species examined have larvae and all of the wholly terrestrial species have direct development without a larval stage. Variance in ΔN was highest amongst the smallest populations in each comparison group. Estimated local extinction rates averaged 3.1% among pond-breeding frogs, 2.2% for pond-breeding salamanders, and negligible for both stream-breeding and terrestrial direct-developing species. Recoveries slightly exceeded extinctions among European pond-breeding frogs but not among North American pond-breeding frogs. Less common species had greater negative disparities between extinctions and recoveries. Species with highly fluctuating populations and high frequencies of local extinctions living in changeable environments, such pond- and torrent-breeding amphibians, may be especially susceptible to curtailment of dispersal and restriction of habitat.

256 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is recommended managers focus on practices that ensure salamander microhabitats remain cool and moist in conservation areas, and evaluate 18 a priori logistic regression models using Akaike's Information Criterion corrected for small-sample bias.
Abstract: 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 (DAICc 5 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. Resource managers are challenged with bal- ancing human interests and the conservation of threatened and endangered species. This is a current issue in the western United States because of the need to manage forests for catastrophic fire prevention while considering the response of sensitive forest species to silvicultural practices. Fire suppression has

11 citations


Cites background from "Conservation assessment of the Sacr..."

  • ...The top six ranked post hoc logistic regression models, in order of importance, evaluating habitat characteristics for the Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) in 2004 in Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, using Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for small sample size (AICc; N 5 33)....

    [...]

  • ...The study was conducted in the Sacramento Mountains of Lincoln National Forest in south-central New Mexico....

    [...]

  • ...The range of A. hardii is primarily within Lincoln National Forest (Ramotnik, 1997), making the U.S. Forest Service largely responsible for the conservation and management of this species....

    [...]

  • ...Report, Lincoln National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Alamogordo, NM, http://www.rmrs.nau. edu/lab/4251/spowmon/, 2003)....

    [...]


01 Jan 2004-
Abstract: P art of the diversity of a forest is the variety of agents that can kill trees. These agents differ in the nature, magnitude, and patterns of their impacts on forest resources. Diseases, insect pests, and other small-scale disturbances are commonly assessed on the basis of their impacts on timber production. Tree mortality usually means reduced volume of living stems. Consequently, forest pathologists and entomologists have traditionallymaintained a negative view of these disturbances. Dead trees have traditionally invoked a different perspective for wildlife biologists. To them, dying trees either embody important habitat structures or lead to conditions that support animal existence (Maser et al., 1979; Thomas et al., 1979; Raphael and White, 1984; Ramotnik, 1997). For example, fallen trees create openings in forest canopies that stimulate development of plant understory: tree seedlings, shrubs, forbs, and grasses that in turn provide food and cover for small mammals (Carey et al., 1999). Fallen trees also provide small mammals with refuge from predators, nesting sites, and nursery conditions for production of other food sources, such as arthropods and fungi (Goodwin and Hungerford, 1979; Hayes and Cross, 1987; Carey et al., 1999). Several forest pathology and entomology studies have speculated on the ecological significance of diseases and insects pests, but few have actually addressed their impacts on wildlife habitat (Hart 1993; Bennetts et al. 1996). In addition to diseases and insects, the most frequently cited disturbances in forests are fire, logging, and livestock grazing (Shaw et al., 1993; Swetnam and Baisan, 1994; Tkacz et al., 1994; Geils et al., 1995; Kaufmann et al., 1998). The most commonly recognized expression of a disturbance is probably tree mortality. Not all disturbances kill trees in the same way. Because they often act selectively, the canopy gaps they cause can have distinctive characteristics depending on which trees are killed, what woody structures remain, and how succession proceeds. We hypothesize that particular tree killing pathogens, insects and other disturbances can have specific effects on small mammal habitat, and that the relative importance of different tree-killing agents depends on their nature, magnitude, and spatial patterns. Here we evaluate this hypothesis using a test case involving five species of small mammals common to the forests of the southwestern United States. These small mammals are common prey of a threatened raptor, the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) (Ward and Block, 1995). Information detailing influence of biotic factors and linkages with the abundance and distribution of these species will be useful for defining restoration prescriptions that may help conserve these wildlife species.

Cites background from "Conservation assessment of the Sacr..."

  • ...To them, dying trees either embody important habitat structures or lead to conditions that support animal existence (Maser et al., 1979; Thomas et al., 1979; Raphael and White, 1984; Ramotnik, 1997)....

    [...]

  • ...Consequently, forest pathologists and entomologists have traditionallymaintained a negative view of these disturbances....

    [...]