Cope’s Giant Salamander

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hakim, Flickr


  • Species Common Name Cope's Giant Salamander
  • Species Scientific Name Dicamptodon copei
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


Special needs

Cope's giant salamanders inhabit cold, clear, fast-flowing permanent streams in coniferous forests. They are typically associated with coarse substrates (e.g., basalt). This species uses deep cobble, small boulders, in-channel logs, and other microhabitat features for foraging, refugia, and egg-laying.

Limiting factors

This species has a limited range in Oregon. Cope's giant salamanders rarely or never metamorphose, so they are highly vulnerable to channel dewatering and barriers to stream connectivity. Given their small gill surface area, they are also sensitive to increases in temperature and sediment.

Conservation actions

Retain stream buffers to maintain cool water temperatures and water clarity. Minimize sediment coating or embedding of rocky substrates. Replace culverts as needed to remove barriers in continuous, natural streambed and streambank habitat. Restrict chemical applications near streams. Reduce the likelihood of non-native predators in streams.

Key reference or plan

Conservation Assessment for the Cope’s Giant Salamander

Life History Traits