Larch Mountain Salamander

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hakim, Flickr


  • Species Common Name Larch Mountain Salamander
  • Species Scientific Name Plethodon larselli
  • Federal Listing Status Species of Concern
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


Special needs

Larch Mountain salamanders inhabit basalt talus slopes of the Columbia River Gorge and northern Cascade Mountains. They are adapted to well-drained, gravel to small cobble-sized talus with a significant component of fine litter and debris. They require moist microclimates and may occur in late-successional forests, especially those with gravel or fractured rock in the soil.

Limiting factors

Larch Mountain salamanders have specialized habitat requirements (talus slopes), low dispersal capabilities, and relatively small clutch size. Pesticides or fertilizers can negatively affect these salamanders and their food supply.

Conservation actions

Avoid alteration and ground-disturbance of talus, which can cause local extinctions. Avoid use of pesticides adjacent to talus, and manage lands adjacent to occupied sites with species' requirements in mind as these areas may be important dispersal or foraging areas. Improve habitat connectivity between breeding sites.

Key reference or plan

Conservation Assessment for the Larch Mountain Salamander (Plethodon larselli)

Life History Traits