This species is present across much of central, eastern and southern Europe. In the former Soviet Union, it is known only from the mountains and foothills of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The populations of this species in Iberia are very fragmented (there is a small Area of Occupancy within the wider Extent of Occurrence). The populations of Salamandra species reported from western Anatolia, Turkey, require further investigation into the species involved and are not evaluated in this account. It occurs from lowland areas up to 2,500m asl (in central Spain).
Habitat and Ecology
It is associated with wet cool deciduous, mixed, or rarely, coniferous forests with well shaded brooks and small rivers. Within the mountain forest belt, the species can be found in woodlands, glades and forest edges, rocky slopes, dense bush, and herbaceous vegetation. It is possible, that the occurrence of S. salamandra on woodless mountain pastures and within hayfields indicates the past existence of forests. In the Iberian Peninsula the species may be found in upland Mediterranean type forest and associated habitats. The species prefers microhabitats covered with dense leaf-litter and moss. In general, the female gives birth to well-developed larvae, that complete metamorphosis in streams, ponds and still waters. However, the subspecies, S.s. bernardezi and S.s. fastusa may give birth to two to eight fully metamorphosed young on land. The species does tolerate some habitat modification, and has even been found in gardens.
A number of large, stable populations of this salamander exist in Central Europe. Some local populations declines have been observed over parts of its range (e.g., through habitat loss, introduced predatory fish, and increased aridity in Spain). A severe decline has been reported in the Netherlands. Some local populations have disappeared, and its population density has also been reduced in parts of Spain.
The principal threats include localized general habitat destruction, unsympathetic forest management, and pollution of breeding sites by agrochemicals, collection for commercial purposes (i.e., the pet trade), introduction of predatory species (salmonids and crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)) and population fragmentation. The mortality of adults on roads is a localized threat in some parts of its range. The presence of chytridiomycosis has been reported in some Spanish populations.
This species is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and is protected by national legislation over much of its range. It occurs in many protected areas, and is listed in a number of national and sub national Red Data Books and Lists. Some populations of this salamander are being monitored (e.g., central Spain; Zlote Mountains [southwestern Poland, East Sudety Mountains]). Further research into the impacts of chytridiomycosis on this salamander is urgently needed.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. A number of subspecies of Salamandra salamandra are restricted in range and may be considered to be threatened, in particular: S.s. longirostris in southern Spain (listed as Vulnerable in Spain), and S.s. bejarae-almanzoris in the mountains of north-central Spain (listed as Vulnerable in Spain).
This account follows the suggested Salamandra monophyletic group distribution presented in Steinfartz, et al. (2000). Old locality records for Turkey need to be reconfirmed, and are not included here.
Sergius Kuzmin, Theodore Papenfuss, Max Sparreboom, Ismail H. Ugurtas, Steven Anderson, Trevor Beebee, Mathieu Denoël, Franco Andreone, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Jaime Bosch, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko 2009. Salamandra salamandra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T59467A11928351. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T59467A11928351.en