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Salamanders: Unique Indiana Critters
Salamanders are one of Indiana’s unique critters that often go unnoticed to many people. Indiana’s woodland and wetland habitats host twenty-two different species of salamanders.
They are fascinating to many people because of their striking color patterns and distinctive habits. Particularly, they have the ability to breathe and absorb moisture through their skin, as well as regenerating lost limbs.
Salamanders are amphibians, which means “double life,” referring to their two stage life cycle. As juveniles, many salamanders live in the water with feathered gills and spend their time feeding and growing. Once they reach adulthood, they lose their gills and climb onto land
ready to breed.
Many salamander enthusiasts enjoy finding these critters. Because salamanders prefer damp and dark places, they can be found under decomposing logs and rocks. Salamanders are quite shy and harmless, and need to be handled with care.
Due to the increase in fungus, pollution, and destruction of wetland habitats, many of the salamander populations have decreased in recent years. But there are ways of slowing down, or stopping, this decline. Farmers can make efforts to prevent chemicals entering the waterways.
Landowners can harvest trees to create more logs for salamanders to live under. With the combined efforts and awareness, salamanders will be around for many people to enjoy.