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Assessment Results




© 2017 Ben Thesing (1 of 26 )

AmphibiaWeb species account




IUCN Red List assessment


Conservation Needs Assessment

Desmognathus wrighti ,   Pygmy Salamander
Assessed for:  United States   on: 26 Oct 2012   by: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Caudata     Family:   Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Least Concern (LC)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     United States  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   20.614909255598 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   In Situ Conservation  , Ex Situ Research   
Additional Comments:   Dodd - climate change potential impacts; Dodd - and could have been broken up into two species (northern - aka D. organi and southern as D wrighti); analog for organi.(Post workshop: I do know that D. wrighti was bred by a hobbyist, and I recently collected a small group to work with at home. I've bred D. aeneus at home for several generations and from what I've heard the care is similar. They are syntopic at one site in Macon Co., NC. Tim Herman, pers. comm. Oct 2013). 

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Near Threatened (NT) Dodd said that with taxonomic changes (D. organi) the IUCN status should be re-evaluated - contact Ken for follow-up (review of the species may actually elevate it higher than the NT listed).
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are added by AArk staff, and are not editable by Assessors). ED value 20 - 50
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? Yes
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for reintroduction or translocation? Yes
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats are reversible in time frame
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from unsustainable collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No
9 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Yes
10 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Class to which the species belongs (Amphibia, Mammalia etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
11 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
12 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within the Class to which the species belongs (Amphibia, Mammalia etc.)? No research dependent on this species
13 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
14 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? Yes
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully maintained and bred in captivity? Yes, bred to F1
16 Educational potential Is the species especially diurnal/active/colourful and therefore suited to be an educational ambassador for conservation of this group of species? No
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
18 Range State approval Would a proposed ex situ initiative for this species be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? Yes
20 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes

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