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Assessment Results






AmphibiaWeb species account




Conservation Needs Assessment

Eurycea aquatica ,   Dark-sided Salamander /
Assessed for:  United States   on: 17 Dec 2016   by: Todd Pierson  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Caudata     Family:   Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Not Evaluated (NE)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     United States  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   19 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   In Situ Research  , Ex Situ Research  , Conservation Education   
Additional Comments:    

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Least Concern (LC) We don't currently know the full distribution of this species, but it appears to be locally common and more widespread than once thought.
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are added by AArk staff, and are not editable by Assessors). ED value < 20
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? No This species complex is relatively resilient to disturbance and thus is found in many protected and unprotected habitats.
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for reintroduction or translocation? Yes This species complex is relatively resilient to disturbance and thus is found in many protected and unprotected habitats potentially suitable for reintroduction.
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats unknown
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from unsustainable collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No
9 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Unknown
10 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Class Amphibia? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
11 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
12 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within the Class Amphibia? Research dependent upon < 6 species (incl. this taxon) I use this species complex (including the named taxa E. aquatica, E. bislineata, E. cirrigera, E. junaluska, and E. wilderae) to study broader patterns in evolution and hybridization.
13 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
14 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? Yes This is the closest relative of E. junaluska, which has a smaller distribution and may be of conservation concern.
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully maintained and bred in captivity? Not held in captivity to date
16 Educational potential Is the species especially diurnal/active/colourful and therefore suited to be an educational ambassador for conservation of this group of species? No
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
18 Range State approval Would a proposed ex situ initiative for this species be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? Yes
20 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? No Systematic studies of the E. bislineata species complex (Jacobs 1987; Kozak et al. 2006) have uncovered more diversity than is reflected by current taxonomy. Timpe et al (2009) demonstrated that this taxon is distinct from the sympatric E. cirrigera. I am in the process of use genome-scale data to better describe the evolutionary history of this group. Jacobs, J. F. 1987. A preliminary investigation of geographic genetic variation and systematics of the two-lined salamander, Eurycea bislineata (Green). Herpetologica 43: 423-446. Kozak, K. H., R. A. Blaine, and A. Larson. 2006. Gene lineages and eastern North American palaeodrainage basins: phylogeography and speciation in salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex. Molecular Ecology 15: 191-207. Timpe, E. K., S. P. Graham, and R. M. Bonett. 2009. Phylogeography of the Brownback Salamander reveals patterns of local endemism in Southern Appalachian springs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 368-376.

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