Characterized by the stripe on its back that changes from red to orange, the Western Redback Salamander (Plethodon vehiculum) lives in high densities in Goldstream Provincial Park. The old-growth forest in the park provides an excellent habitat for the species. The Western Redback Salamander is an entirely terrestrial amphibian, but it requires moisture to breath through its skin, so it does well living in the damp leaf litter and forest debris of old-growth forests. You'll spot these critters under moss, rocks, and decomposing logs. They would not do well in clear-cuts or open sunny areas. That's why it's important to continue monitoring the Western Redback Salamander, to investigate how the salamander does in relation to climate change and other environmental changes. According to the BC Conservation Data Centre, the Western Redback Salamander surface density in Goldstream Provincial Park is 1.8 salamanders per meter square or 18,000 salamanders/ha.
Source: B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2013. Conservation Status Report: Plethodon vehiculum. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/(accessed Oct 8, 2013).
Photo: Will Brown