Salamanders

northernredsalamander2Salamanders are one of Indiana’s unique critters that often go unnoticed. Few people realize that 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.

Landowners can harvest trees to create more cover for salamanders to live under.  With the combined efforts and awareness, salamanders will be around for years to come.

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