Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known as the “Salamander Capital of the World,” with higher diversity of salamanders than anywhere else of similar size. We have thirty species of salamanders, including one endemic species, the Jordan’s Red-cheeked Salamander, that is found only in the high elevations of the Park and nowhere else in the world!
Our salamanders range in size from the tiny Pygmy salamander (1.5 inches) to the gargantuan Hellbender (up to 2.5 ft long!). Salamanders are so numerous, they would outweigh all the mammals in the Park combined! You can find them in streams, seeps, ephemeral pools, and just about anywhere on the moist forest floor, especially after one of the Smokies’ many rainstorms.
Because we cherish our salamanders and other amphibians, monitoring their populations is a very important research priority for the national park.