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