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Abstract

Seventy one species of amphibians (55 salamanders, 16 anurans) and 46 species of reptiles (15 turtles, 8 lizards, 23 snakes) inhabit a five state area (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia) in the southern Appalachian region bordered by the Potomac River, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the western margin of the Appalachian Plateau. Of these, 47.9 % of the amphibian fauna and 52.2 % of the reptilian fauna are listed as being of conservation concern by federal, state, and Natural Heritage programs in all or a portion of their ranges of this region. The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon Shenandoah) is listed as Endangered and the Cheat Mountain salamander (Plethodon Shenandoah) is listed as Endangered and the Cheat Mountain salamander (Plethodon nettingi) is listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Nine others are classified as federal species at risk. State endangered species number 1-3 (per state), threatened 1-4, and special concern or declining 6-19. Three to 6 species per state are additionally listed as natural heritage S1 and 2-13 as S2. We review the existing and potential threats to species and populations (e.g., timbering, urbanization, collection for the wildlife trade, acid precipitation, introduced species) and provide an assessment of the conservation status of the southern Appalachian herpetofauna based on land ownership.

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