Coastal tailed frogs are found in cold, clear, fast-flowing streams within forested areas. Adults need streambanks, logs, headwater springs, and gravelly seeps for foraging and hiding, and small boulders in streams for egg-laying. Tadpoles require permanent streams with moss- and sediment-free cobble and boulder substrate for clinging to rock surfaces while scraping diatoms and algae. In the Coast Range, this species may be limited to streams with hard-rock substrate rather than sandstone.
This species has a restricted range (Pacific Northwest endemic), low reproductive rate (several-year larval stage), and limited dispersal capabilities (remaining near water sources), all of which may hamper recovery. Sedimentation and increases in water temperature are further risk factors.
Improve understanding of habitat requirements. Determine growth rates after metamorphosis. Assess abundance and distribution in headwater streams. Investigate dispersal and determine whether most movement is by larval or adult forms. Evaluate the effects of forest management practices, fertilizers, and herbicides on this species.
Retain stream buffers to maintain cool water temperatures and water clarity. Minimize sediment coating or embedding of rocky substrates. Use results of dispersal studies to guide recommendations on culvert size or modification.