(Desmognathus ochrophaeus)
Photo: John MacGregor

Conservation Profile

Priority Group: Moderate

KNP Info

G Rank: G5

S Rank: S5

Federal Status: N/A

IUCN Red List: LC - Least concern

The Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander has a limited distribution in Kentucky and is apparently absent from the Carter and McCreary County sites where it occurred 20 years ago. Population declines are possibly linked to strip mining. Desmognathus species in general appear sensitive to stream pollution and sedimentation.

Conservation Goal

Develop repeatable field survey and monitoring techniques. Monitor 5 sites including at least 2 at higher elevations on Black Mountain. Develop recommendations for forested buffers along small streams, seeps, and dripping rock outcrops to protect habitat.

Habitat Associations

Physiographic Regions: Cumberland Mountains, Cumberland Plateau, Plateau Escarpment

Guilds: Cliff/Rockshelter, Mesic Forest, River/Streams, Scrub-Shrub/Early Successional Forest

Mostly associated with wet rock faces, mucky and mossy seeps, and the margins of mountain streams. Also occurs out in the woods and beside road ruts and shallow roadside ditches.

Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander


(Desmognathus ochrophaeus)


  • Biological Resource UseLogging and Wood Harvesting
  • Energy Production and MiningMining and Quarrying
  • Invasive and Other Problematic Species and GenesPathogens and Microbes
  • Human Intrusions and DisturbanceRecreational Activities

Conservation Actions

  • Awareness and CommunicationsHuman Intrusions and Disturbance Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes
  • Education and AwarenessHuman Intrusions and Disturbance
  • Habitat and Natural Process RestorationBiological Resource Use Energy Production and Mining
  • Policies and RegulationsEnergy Production and Mining Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes
  • Resource and Habitat ProtectionBiological Resource Use Energy Production and Mining


  • Survey: Collect baseline species information
  • Survey: Disease surveillance
  • Management: Develop disease response plan
  • Management: Disease reporting portal

Range Map

Range Map for (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)

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