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Assessment Results




Donald Filipiak © 2013 Don Filipiak (1 of 7 )

AmphibiaWeb species account




IUCN Red List assessment


Conservation Needs Assessment

Desmognathus auriculatus ,   Southern Dusky Salamander
Assessed for:  United States   on: 20 Apr 2017   by: Robert Hill  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Caudata     Family:   Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Least Concern (LC)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     United States  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   20.614909255598 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   In Situ Research   
Additional Comments:   Initial assessment data compiled by D. Bruce Means from “Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species”, edited by Michael Lannoo (©2005 by the Regents of the University of California), used with permission of the editor. The book is available from UC Press, http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9484.html, and species accounts can be found on AmphibiaWeb, www.amphibiaweb.org. Original species account transcribed by Robert L. Hill. 

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Least Concern (LC)
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 - 50
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? Unknown
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for reintroduction or translocation? Unknown
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 No detailed population surveys or studies of the ecology of southern dusky salamanders have been undertaken since the work of Cook and Brown (1974) and Means (1974, 1975a), until Dodd (1998) and Means (2003d) discovered that the species had experienced a widespread decline throughout its range beginning about the mid 1970s. Considering how widespread and severe this decline has been (Means, 2003d), it is imperative that studies be undertaken to determine the cause of the decline. Also, surveys are urgently needed to ascertain the population status in every state in the geographic distribution of the southern dusky salamander. Because the disappearance of many local populations has taken place in relatively undisturbed, and in some cases pristine, native habitat (Dodd, 1998; Means, 2003d), management recommendations must await determination of the cause(s) of the decline.
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? No research dependent on this species
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? No
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully maintained and bred in captivity? Maintained but no successful breeding Two individuals held at EL Paso Zoo, but no records of captive breeding during the past 12 months.
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)?
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? Unknown Research into availability of founders needs to be prioritised.
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)? Unknown Research into species validity needs to be prioritised.

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