Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Karen E. BagneKathryn L. Purcell
    Date: 2009
    Source: Res. Note. RMRS-RN-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.
    Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (632.59 KB)


    Terrestrial salamanders may be vulnerable to prescribed fire applications due to their moist, permeable skin and limited mobility. We present data collected on terrestrial salamander populations in a ponderosa pine-dominated forest in the Sierra Nevada where fire was applied in the spring. Two species, Sierra ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzi platensis) and gregarious slender salamander (Batrachoseps gregarius), were captured under coverboards. Capture rates of ensatinas declined within the first 2 years after burning, but postfire captures were similar to or greater than capture rates on unburned plots. Capture rates of slender salamanders were more variable, but high capture rates on burned plots suggest they persist following fire. We captured fewer small ensatinas within 2 years of burning, but sizes of slender salamanders pre and post burning were similar. Salamanders were captured in both closed and open canopy forests, and presence under individual coverboards was associated with deeper litter and greater canopy closure. Coverboards may be avoided for a year or more by gregarious slender salamanders, and capture rates were highest during winter and early spring. Though sample sizes were small and conclusions should be made with caution, results indicated no strong adverse effects from spring burning. Suitable habitat may have been maintained by the patchy burn pattern characteristic of spring burns.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bagne, Karen E.; Purcell, Kathryn L. 2009. Response of two terrestrial salamander species to spring burning in the Sierra Nevada, California. Res. Note. RMRS-RN-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.


    Google Scholar


    terrestrial salamanders, prescribed fire, Sierra Nevada

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page