Although the green salamander population appears to be stable within the main parts of its range, there have been significant declines within smaller, isolated populations. For example, the populations at Blue Ridge in North Carolina experienced declines in the late 1970s, and three out of the six populations there crashed again in 1996 to 1997, just after they appeared to be making a recovery (1) (6) (8). Smaller populations of the green salamander are at particular risk of extinction, in part because this species rarely crosses barriers such as roads or rivers and lakes, which limits the amount of migration between populations and can lead to inbreeding (6).
There are thought to be several reasons for these population crashes, including habitat loss from human developments such as roads. The removal of emergent rocks can cause environmental changes to the green salamander’s habitat, by increasing airflow, which increases temperature and decreases humidity. The removal of trees also dries nesting and foraging crevices (7) (8).
Other threats to the green salamander include over-collecting, disease and drought, which may increase in frequency and severity as a result of global climate change (1).