The wet, cool weather of the Pacific Northwest is fantastic for amphibians, especially salamanders. Amphibians can be harmed easily by handling, so avoid touching them. If you find a salamander or frog under a rock or log, ensure that you place its habitat back exactly as it was found so it does not lose the moisture seal and desiccate.
List of all amphibians recorded in Columbia County
Western Red-backed Salamander – Back is red to greenish-yellow, with color that reaches tail-tip. No color on sides. Found under moist cover in forest. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Dunn’s Salamander – Olive or yellowish-green back, color does not reach tail tip. Often has some green on sides. Found on rocky streamsides or in wet talus. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Oregon Ensatina – Medium-sized brown salamander with yellowish upper limbs and a constriction at base of tail. Found under wood in forest. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Clouded Salamander – Cloudy blotches and unique toes. Lives in old or dead trees, now rare here due to lack of old-growth. Is on ODFW Sensitive Species list. (photo © Mark Leppin)
Northwestern Salamander – This large brown salamander breeds in forested ponds and lakes but will travel over the forest floor in fall and spring. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Western Long-toed Salamander – Green back color is rarely seen on sides. 3rd/4th toes on back feet are especially long. Breeds in ponds in open areas. (photo © Jon Hakim)
– Grayish-brown with dark mottling. The largest land salamander, found in wet forested hills where it breeds in shady fast-flowing streams. (photo © Jon Hakim) Coastal Giant Salamander
Columbia Torrent Salamander – This yellow-brown salamander lives in cold well-aerated water, including forested seeps and fast streams. On ODFW Sensitive Species list. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Rough-skinned Newt – Our most often seen amphibian, can breed in almost any water body. Its rough dry skin allows it to travel long distances over land. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Pacific Treefrog – Usually green though often with brown or gray, and always has a prominent dark eyestripe. Breeds in still waters but can be found far from water. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Northern Red-legged Frog – Our typical brown stream and pond frog, with red under back legs. On ODFW Sensitive Species list due to bullfrog predation and other threats. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Oregon Spotted Frog – Notable upturned eyes and large spots with light centers. An Endangered Species, gone in this county due to cattle grazing, pollution, bullfrogs, and the loss of wetlands. (photo © Jon Hakim)
American Bullfrog – An introduced species from the eastern USA, its large size and voracious appetite has posed a danger to native frogs, turtles, and other animals. (photo © Jon Hakim)
– Coast Tailed Frog Fully webbed back feet and light line between eyes. Vertical pupils. Rare in our county, only found in fast-flowing streams in well-preserved forest. On ODFW sensitive species list. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Western Toad – Our only toad. Rare in county, potentially due to logging, road construction, and development which pollute breeding waters with sediment. On ODFW Sensitive Species list. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Have you taken a picture of an amphibian? Enter it into our “
Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians” project on iNaturalist! We’re collecting data on all the reptiles and amphibians of the county for a long-term habitat and range study. It’s easy to upload the photos from your computer or just post directly to iNaturalist with the mobile app.
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