Mole Salamander in McDowell County Rare Species in North Carolina Posted on July 17, 2014 by UPLLC

MoleSalamander2_thumbLast fall, Unique Places’ Director of Conservation Science, Chris Wilson, discovered a population of the Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) breeding in a small pond. This observation represented the first time this species has been reported in McDowell county and was recently published as a Geographic Distribution Note in the journal Herpetological Review (HR45(1)GeographicDistribution). This species is considered rare in North Carolina, with only around 30 known occurrences in the entire state according to the NC Natural Heritage Program’s database. This beautiful and secretive salamander spends most of the year underground, often within burrows made by other creatures. For a brief period in the fall and winter months, adults migrate to semi-permanent fish-free breeding ponds on rainy nights to mate and deposit eggs. Threats to this species across its range include removal or alteration of its upland forested habitats surrounding the breeding pond, the filling in or deepening of breeding ponds, and the introduction of predatory fish.

For more information about Habitat Inventories and Management visit ourĀ services page or contact Chris Wilson.

Tags:  Conservation  Land Management  
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