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The Status of the Red Hills Salamander, Phaeognathus hubrichti Highton

Ralph Jordan, Jr. and Robert H. Mount
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 9, No. 2 (Apr. 28, 1975), pp. 211-215
DOI: 10.2307/1563039
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1563039
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

The geographic range of the plethodontid salamander Phaeognathus hubrichti is confined to a small area of southern central Alabama. Within the limited range, approximately 63,000 acres of habitat currently remain capable of supporting populations of this unusual species. This determination is based on on-site inspections and on studies of topographic maps and aerial photographs. The amount of suitable habitat, which consists of mesic ravines dominated by hardwood trees, is steadily shrinking, primarily as a result of extensive clear-cutting of timber and intensive mechanical preparation of cut-over areas preceeding reforestation. Approximately 44 per cent of the suitable habitat is currently owned or leased by large paper companies that are dedicated to the clear-cut and replant system of forest management. An estimated 15 per cent of the habitat is owned by companies that currently use selective cutting, but which may be forced to adopt clear-cutting because of economic considerations. The remaining 41 per cent is owned by individuals, most of whom own less than 100 acres each. The data resulting from this investigation clearly reveal the need to include the Red Hills salamander on the national list of threatened wildlife.

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