This species can be found in the lower Gulf coastal plain of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, USA. It is nearly endemic to the Florida panhandle and adjacent Alabama (west to the western side of Mobile Bay) and Georgia (with two known localities), but with occurrences extending southward along the Gulf Coast of peninsular Florida to Levy and Hernando Counties. It appears not to range more than 80-120km inland from the coast (Means 1996).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in deep, organic, liquid muck in alluvial swamps of low-gradient second or third order streams, spring runs, and occasionally swampy terrace streams in floodplains. It is very habitat-dependent, so maintenance of non-polluted muck is essential for its survival.
The total adult population size is unknown.
Potential threats to this species include exploitation and degradation of surrounding habitat (for logging and mining activities, and for the disposal of power plant sludge, for example). Stream pollution (for example by agricultural runoff), and groundwater disturbance are also potential threats. It occurs in very few protected areas, so its habitats are at significant risk.
To assist its conservation, further work is needed to verify extant occurrences and field-check the type locality (Levy County). Surveys for this species in managed areas within its range need to be conducted, and potential sites should be identified from topographic maps. Entire drainage basins (including uplands) need to be preserved, and occurrences in at least 10 different drainages, preferably including at least one occurrence each in Georgia and Alabama, should be protected. Direct exploitation of this species needs to be monitored, and state limits on collecting should be established if exploitation is extensive. Pollution of its habitat also needs to be prevented.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because its Extent of Occurrence is not much greater than 20,000 km2, and the extent and quality of its habitat are probably declining, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
Geoffrey Hammerson, Dale Jackson 2004. Amphiuma pholeter. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59075A11879577. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59075A11879577.en .Downloaded on 20 February 2019