This species occurs in an area of approximately 15 square kilometres in Cheoah Bald, Graham and Swain counties, North Carolina, USA; its elevational range is at least 975-1,524m asl (Highton and Peabody 2000).
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in mesic forest, often under leaf-litter, logs, or mossy rocks. It is a terrestrial breeder. Most of the species range includes second growth forest, so it must be somewhat tolerant of disturbance.
This species is common in suitable habitat (six or more specimens can be found within a 1-2 hour search). The population is probably stable.
Clear cutting strongly depletes local populations of other members of the Plethodon jordani complex (Petranka, Eldridge and Haley 1993); the time required for recovery is debatable, but is at least a few decades (Ash 1997; Petranka 1999; Ash and Pollock 1999).
Part of the range of this species is within the Nantahala Game Lands, which offer some measure of protection because the forest is typically left intact. There is also an effort to declare much of the range as Wilderness, which, if successful, would further protect the species. The species does not appear on any state or federal list of endangered species. There is a need for continued close monitoring of the population status of this species.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because it is known from fewer than five locations.
This species was recently separated from Plethodon jordani (Highton and Peabody 2000).
Geoffrey Hammerson, David Beamer 2004. Plethodon cheoah. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59333A11919554. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59333A11919554.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019