Taricha granulosa


     The Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa) lives exclusively in the coastal northwest of North America ranging from Santa Cruz County, California in the south to southeastern Alaska in the north. In California they range eastward to around Shasta County (ADW 2008). There are also a few remote populations in A Rough-skinned Newt, brown with an orange underbelly, walking on a bed of pine needles and twigs. Used with permission from Meredith ThomsenLatah County, Idaho which are thought to be introduced (Nature Serve 2013). More recent research has lead scientists to believe that the Idaho population is either native or introduced from a population out of Oregon or Washington based on genetic research (Kuchta and Tan 2005). According to Kuchta and Tan (2005), northern populations are not as genetically diverse as southern populations due to a more recent range expansion. This expansion was caused by glaciers receding and having a small section of the previously northern most population move in. This is also known as the founders effect and the newt began migrating north at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago (Kuchta and Tan 2005). It can be found from sea-level to about 9,200 feet in elevation (Nature Serve 2013).
    T. granulosa can live in a variety of habitats (terrestrial or aquatic) as long as they are near water or moist. They live in forested areas such as coniferous forests, mixed forests, deciduous forests, but also inhabit savanna (Nature Serve 2013). They live around or near water bodies such as ponds, marshes, lakes, slow moving creeks or temporary pools and prefer to have vegetation nearby. Aquatically they are benthic, which means that they live or reside at the bottom of bodies of water, and terrestrially live under moist logs or soil and debris (Nature Serve 2013). They can be found out in the open after rainfalls. Rough-skinned Newts prefer calm, slow moving water or still ponds for breeding and/or living in (ADW 2008). They are active either diurnally (meaning daytime) or nocturnally and prefer moderate temperatures. When on lRange distribution map of the Rough-skinned Newt in North America. Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe. 2004.and, they spend most of their time in underground burrows or under cover (Amphibiaweb 2013). Adults will spend about half of their life out of water and will return to the water to mate (Amphibiaweb 2013). Adults locally migrate to mate with some travelling distances up to several hundred meters, with male newts migrating about a month before females to the breeding site (Nature Serve 2013). At higher elevations the newts will mate in the summer and early fall, and at lower elevations they will mate in the spring from January to May (ADW 2008). For more info on reproduction see the Reproduction page. Male and female newts spend different amounts of their life on land and in the water, with males spending an average of 8 months in the water and females spending on average 6 months in the water. Both males and females overwinter on land (Amphibiaweb 2013). It is possible, however, for a newt to spend its entire life in water and have been found as deep as 12 meters underwater. This usually occurs at higher elevations and the newts retain their gills ion this case (ADW 2008). They will also seasonally migrate depending on rainfall and temperature from aquatic environments to terrestrial ones and vice versa. The Rough-skinned Newt is not a territorial animal (Amphibiaweb 2013).

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