Dunn's salamander (Plethodon dunni)

Closeup of a Dunn's salamander on a mossy rock.
Dunn's salamander on a mossy rock. (William Leonard)
Category: Amphibians
Ecosystems: Riparian areas
State status: Candidate
Vulnerability to climate change (More details)


If you see this species, please share your observation using the WDFW wildlife reporting tool or email us at  wildlife.data@dfw.wa.gov. Be sure to include a photo of the species for verification and location (latitude/longitude coordinates) of your observation. 

The Washington status of Dunn's salamander is based on the small state range, narrow environmental specificity and concern that riparian habitats the species relies upon may not be fully protected. The need for retention of large woody debris is also of concern.

Climate vulnerability

Sensitivity to climate change


Dunn's salamander is surface active a temperatures higher than its co-occurring lungless salamander congeners and its distribution going no further north than the Willapa Hills ecoregion partly reflects that. Few nest sites have been described, but the few found are concealed, so it likely that the few found represent the most accessible portion of typical nesting locations.

Confidence: Low

Exposure to climate change


  • Increased temperatures
  • Changes in precipitation
  • Reduced snowpack
  • Earlier snowmelt See comment on snowpack issue it adjacent cell.
Confidence: Moderate


This species is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal or State Endangered Species programs, as well as game species with low populations. The WDFW SWAP is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans for fish, wildlife and their natural habitats—identifying opportunities for species' recovery before they are imperiled and more limited.
This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.