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Management Plan for the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) in Canada [Proposed]

Species at Risk Act
Management Plan Series

Photo: Spring Salamander (Mathieu Ouellette)

Table of Contents

Document Information

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Document Information

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada. 2013. Management Plan for the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada. Ottawa, iv + 22 pages.

For copies of the management plan or for additional information on species at risk, including COSEWICstatus reports, residence descriptions, and other related recovery documents, please visit the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Cover illustration: Mathieu Ouellette

Également disponible en français sous le titre:
Plan de gestion de la salamandre pourpre (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) au Canada [Proposition]

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2013.
All rights reserved.
ISBN:  To come
Cat. No.:  To come

Content (illustrations excepted) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.

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The federal, provincial and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada. Under the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c. 29) (SARA), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of management plans for listed special concern species and are required to report on progress within five years.

The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the management of the Spring Salamander and has prepared this management plan as per section 65 of SARA. The plan was prepared in cooperation with Quebec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune.

Success in the conservation of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this management plan and will not be achieved by Environment Canada alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this management plan for the benefit of the Spring Salamander and Canadian society as a whole.

Implementation of this management plan is subject to the appropriations, priorities and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

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The authors wish to thank the Quebec stream salamander recovery team for its important contribution to the development of the broad strategies and conservation measures. Thanks are also extended to the following external collaborators for their comments on the draft of the document: Walter Bertacchi (Quebec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de l’expertise Faune-Forêts-Territoire du Bas-Saint-Laurent), Lise Deschênes (Quebec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de l’aménagement et de l’environnement forestiers), Yohann Dubois (Quebec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de l’expertise sur la faune et ses habitats), Caroline Bélair (Nature Conservancy of Canada), Bree Walpole (Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources) and Wayne Weller (herpetologist). Thanks also go to the following persons from Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service for their contribution to the development of this management plan: Madeline Austin (Ontario Region), Manon Dubé (National Capital Region), Karine Picard (Quebec Region), Marie-José Ribeyron (National Capital Region) and Barbara Slezak (Ontario Region).

This document was drafted by Sylvain Giguère and Sébastien Rioux of Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service – Quebec Region.

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Executive Summary

The Spring Salamander is a large stream salamander that occurs in the various mountain ranges that form the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America. It is at the northern limit of its range in southeastern Quebec. The species is also known to have occurred in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, but has not been observed there since 1877. The species was assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as special concern in 2002 and was listed in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2005.

The Spring Salamander occurs in small, clear, cool, well-oxygenated streams with rocky bottoms and the absence of fish. These habitat requirements are a limiting factor for the species, as is its late sexual maturity and its limited dispersal capability. As a result of these factors, the Spring Salamander is particularly sensitive to any habitat alteration, degradation or loss. In Quebec, the most serious threats to the survival of the current population are residential, recreation/tourism and wind power generation and groundwater pumping for residential, commercial and agricultural use. Logging and fish introductions or stocking are also serious threats. In Ontario, the threats to the Spring Salamander have not been documented.  The Niagara Peninsula has generally experienced significant agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential growth for many years.

In the long–term, the management objective consists in reducing and, if possible, eliminating the threats to the Spring Salamander in Quebec in order to maintain and, if possible, increase the size of the subpopulations identified by COSEWICand its index of area of occupancy (1412 km²). To achieve this objective and measure the progress made, it is necessary, in the short term, to determine the size of the subpopulations identified by COSEWIC. The broad strategies and conservation measures identified to achieve these objectives are presented in Chapter 6, and the performance measures are presented in Chapter 7.

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