Event Title

The effects of timber harvest and culverts on the distribution of the Olympic Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus) in Olympic National Park and National Forest

Research Mentor(s)

Bower, John L., 1959-

Description

The Olympic Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus) is a vulnerable salamander that lives in headwater streams on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State. Like all salamanders, it is crucial for connectivity between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and declining health in this species is an early marker of declining forest health. There is a dearth of literature regarding the specific causes on the decline of this species, which has only been acknowledged as a distinct species since 1992. We do know, however, that the population is declining due in large part to timber harvest as well as roads and culverts degrading its aquatic habitats. Building on the research conducted by Welsh and Lind (1996) and the recent conservation assessment for this species (Howell and Roberts 2008), I will sample suitable streams in Olympic National Park and National Forest that are crossed by a road for R. olympicus. At each of these sites I will conduct salamander surveys and measure variables related to stream and forest health above and below the road crossing. The results will be used to create a model for salamander distribution, which can in turn be used to inform future management and conservation decisions.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

The effects of timber harvest and culverts on the distribution of the Olympic Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus) in Olympic National Park and National Forest

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

The Olympic Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus) is a vulnerable salamander that lives in headwater streams on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State. Like all salamanders, it is crucial for connectivity between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and declining health in this species is an early marker of declining forest health. There is a dearth of literature regarding the specific causes on the decline of this species, which has only been acknowledged as a distinct species since 1992. We do know, however, that the population is declining due in large part to timber harvest as well as roads and culverts degrading its aquatic habitats. Building on the research conducted by Welsh and Lind (1996) and the recent conservation assessment for this species (Howell and Roberts 2008), I will sample suitable streams in Olympic National Park and National Forest that are crossed by a road for R. olympicus. At each of these sites I will conduct salamander surveys and measure variables related to stream and forest health above and below the road crossing. The results will be used to create a model for salamander distribution, which can in turn be used to inform future management and conservation decisions.