Other Amphibian of the Week

Cascade Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae)

Cascade Torrent Salamander
William Flaxington

Common Name: Cascade Torrent Salamander
Scientific Name: Rhyacotriton cascadae
Family: Rhyacotritonidae
Location: United States: Oregon and Washington
Size: 1.5 – 2 inches (4.0 to 5.1 cm) snout to vent length, 3 – 4.3 inches (7.5 – 11 cm) total length

The Cascade Torrent Salamander lives in the old growth forests on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains but their habitat is being destroyed because of logging. Sediment from logging and the roads being built to move logging equipment is polluting the streams that they live in. That is why the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the salamander as Near Threatened with Extinction. Better protection for these forests are needed before the salamander becomes endangered. Climate change and the increase in temperature in the area is another cause of their status.

photo by flickr user Seánín Óg

The life of the Cascade Torrent Salamander needs to be studied more.  They prefer colder water because it’s more oxygenated and the Cascade Torrent Salamander have reduced lungs.  Courtships behavior for the Cascade Torrent Salamander has not been observed. The salamanders breed all year long but mostly during fall and spring. Females usually lay around 8 eggs at the end of the spring. It takes over 5 years for the eggs to reach reproduction maturity age.

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