Cascade Torrent Salamander

Cascade Torrent Salamander
Photo Credit: John Clare, Flickr


  • Species Common Name Cascade Torrent Salamander
  • Species Scientific Name Rhyacotriton cascadae
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


Special needs

Cascade torrent salamanders are found in cold, fast-flowing headwater streams, seeps, and waterfall splash zones in forested areas. They typically occur in reaches and off-channel habitat with gravel or cobble substrate and persistent, shallow water. Larvae are aquatic, and both larvae and adults use rocks and other microhabitat features for foraging and cover. Adults can also be found along stream banks and in upland areas during wet periods. This species requires continuous access to cold, silt-free water and moist adjacent forest.

Limiting factors

This species has a small average clutch size (7-16 eggs) and lengthy hatching period (up to 10 months). Larvae take several years to reach sexual maturity. The minute gill surface area of larvae makes them particularly sensitive to increased temperature and sediment.

Conservation actions

Protect headwater streams. Retain riparian buffers (see Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation recommendations). Minimize sediment coating or embedding of rocky substrates. Maintain adjacent terrestrial habitat for dispersal and to enhance habitat connectivity. Use results of dispersal studies to guide recommendations on culvert size or modification.

Key reference or plan

Howell, B.L. and N. M. Maggiulli. 2011. Conservation Assessment for the Cascade Torrent Salamander. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Northwestern U.S. and Canada

Life History Traits