Distribution and Status of the Cave Salamander in Ohio

The Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga) is known from only three counties in southern Ohio, and is listed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife as a state endangered species. 

Much of the salamander’s life is spent underground, complicating detailed surveys of the species’ biology. 

Surveys conducted during 2002 found cave salamanders in 4 locations in Hamilton County out of a total of 11 areas searched in Adams, Hamilton, and Butler Counties.

Cave Salamanders in Southern Ohio Springhouse

An extremely large congregation of 70 Cave Salamanders was found in a previously unreported location in Hamilton County.  

The status of the Cave Salamander in Adams County is questionable, with very few sightings being recorded.  Populations in Hamilton and Butler Counties appear to be widespread and in some locations locally abundant. 

Five Hamilton County Park District properties have recorded Cave Salamander populations, and steps to manage these populations and their habitat have been undertaken. 

Cave Salamanders have been reported from limestone creeks, in and around springhouses, seeps, wells, and limestone crevices in Ohio.  Threats to Cave Salamander populations include modifications of streams, springs, and seeps; deforestation; and, increased runoff and stream siltation due to Whitetail Deer overpopulation.

This project was supported by the Ohio Division of Wildlife with funds donated through the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Program.  Show your support for Ohio's wildlife diversity by purchasing a Wildlife Legacy Stamp.