Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Science in Action: Saving Shenandoah Salamanders

One challenge facing high-elevation Appalachian salamanders is competition from other species. The endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) may be at increased risk of extinction by the potentially more aggressive red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) pushing further up the mountain as temperatures rise.

In collaboration with the Northeast Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative of the USGS, SCBI researchers are studying captive salamanders to see how they will react to future climate conditions. This will help them understand how high-elevation warming may affect the interactions between species and ultimately predict the fate of the Shenandoah salamander.

Shenandoah salamander, stripeless phase