State Endangered Streamside Salamander

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The Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri) ) is a small salamander with a stocky body and a small head.  They are typically gray to black with lighter colored markings on their sides and measure 4-5.5 inches.  The Streamside Salamander has been located in several counties in Middle Tennessee.  Fortunately, the Streamside Salamander has made several seasonal streams  in Hendersonville it's home.  The Streamside Salamander is a cryptic amphibian that is hard to locate, mainly due to it's life cycle.  The Streamside Salamander is most active during the winter months (December-April).  Adult salamanders emerge from forested areas during winter to breed in seasonal streams.  Females typically lay large egg masses under submerged rocks. 

In August 2018, the Streamside Salamander was listed as State Endangered.  It is our responsibility to ensure that this unique salamander species does not go extinct.  The Streamside Salamander is a valuable natural resource.  These salamanders eat insects and their larvae in forests, streams and agricultural fields.  The Streamside Salamander provides a food source for larger predators and acts as an indicator species for environmental stressors.   You can help protect the salamander by taking simple steps to prevent pollution of our surface waters and protect it's habitat:

  • Respect our streams and the aquatic wildlife that is inhabiting those streams. 
  • Keep children and pets out of the streams during the breeding season. 
  • Don't throw grass clippings or leaf litter into the stream
  • Don't remove rocks from the streams.
  • Try to maintain the stream buffer. 
  • Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides, or opt for natural fertilizers or pesticides. 
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Pick up trash and debris before it enters our streams.

Keep in mind that this State Endangered species could be in that tiny creek in your backyard!

Streamside Salamander

 Photo: Adult Streamside Salamander

City staff has worked closely with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to locate these Streamside Salamander throughout Hendersonville and take preventative steps to reduce impacts to streams and their habitat.  The best method is a proactive approach, conducting surveys of all streams in the City.  If you believe that a stream on or near your property is inhabited by the Streamside Salamander notify the City Stormwater Division or TDEC.  City staff will arrange a visit with a TDEC professional to confirm the presence of the Streamside Salamander.

SS Close up

 Photo: Close Up of Adult Streamside Salamander

larvae

 Photo: Streamside Salamander Larva

SS Egg Mass

Photo: Streamside Salamander Eggs

  Two SS Durham Farms

Photo: Pair of Adult Streamside Salamanders

Watch this Wild Side TV Special on the Streamside Salamander.