Amphibians of Columbia County, Oregon

The wet, cold weather of the Pacific Northwest makes it a great place for amphibians, especially salamanders. Amphibians can be harmed easily by handling, so avoid touching. Many species exude poison from their skin when distressed which can make a person sick. 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 color on sides. Found on rocky streamsides or in wet talus. (photo © Jon Hakim)
Oregon Ensatina – This medium-sized brown salamander has yellowish upper limbs and a constriction at base of tail. Found under cover in forest. (photo © Jon Hakim)
clouded salamander columbia county oregon
Clouded Salamander – Has 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 columbia county oregon
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 columbia county oregon
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)
coastal giant salamander pacific giant columbia county oregon
Coastal Giant Salamander – 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)
columbia torrent salamander oregon
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 columbia county oregon
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)
northern pacific treefrog chorus columbia county oregon
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 columbia county oregon
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 columbia county oregon
Oregon Spotted Frog – Notable upturned eyes and large spots with light centers. An Endangered Species, gone from the county due to cattle grazing, pollution, bullfrogs, and the loss of its wetlands. (photo © Jon Hakim)

american bullfrog columbia county oregon
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)
coastal tailed frog columbia county oregon
Coast Tailed Frog Fully webbed back feet and light line between eyes. 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. May be gone from the county, potentially due to development of its habitat and other human pressures. 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.

Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians oregon

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