Status in Canada: Threatened
Status in Ontario: Threatened
Status at SWCR: Rare in Norfolk County
The Jefferson Salamander is a long, slender, dark grey salamander which may have pale blue-grey spots along its sides. It occurs in a genetic complex with Blue-spotted Salamander, and these two species often hybridize, making identification difficult.
- This secretive amphibian is so hard to tell from Blue-spotted salamanders that genetic testing is needed to confirm its identity!
- It is rare in Norfolk County, but the genetic complex it requires is found at the SWCR.
- It is considered a short-distance migrant: it spends most of its life in undisturbed forests near vernal pools, but can travel up to 1km in a year!
Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:
Habitat loss/degradation: The vernal pools they require are often damaged when forest management activities are not properly planned; or they dry out due to changes in the forest water regime. Other forest habitat features are often degraded through fragmentation, compaction, or rutting from inappropriate recreational activity.
Recreational Activities: inappropriate recreational activities can result in damage to individuals and populations.
Activities that can damage Jefferson salamander and its critical habitat include:
- Tree removal that eliminates the closed canopy conditions needed by this species.
- Activities that change the water regime in the woodlands.
- Activities that eliminate or damage woody debris on the forest floor: prescribed burns, unauthorized plant collecting, or off-trail ATV use.
- Off-trail recreational activities that can disturb habitat and injure individuals.
- Activities that remove individuals from their environment such as illegal collecting.
St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:
- Ongoing surveys and research
- Enforcement of unauthorized trail use
What you can do to help:
- Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
- Report sightings to the SWCR CC, or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
- Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).