Kentucky Spring Salamander- one species you might expect to find in say- Kentucky? Or perhaps West Virginia and the southern parts of Ohio.
The Midland Mud Salamander. It didn't look much different to me as I pulled it out from under a log, but I was assured- it is the ONE. A state listed species, rarely seen.
Shoot, I still think all salamanders are mud-dy! But it doesn't matter if I understand these species or not. Salamanders need areas that are still pristine enough to support their lifestyle. And that I get.
IF we don't protect the habitats of rare plants and animals- they will soon be extinct plants and animals. The first step to preservation is respecting that which we do not understand.
Released back to their watery domain: sch-loo-oop! They disappear into that which seemed to be stream bottom. How many of these creatures cavort beneath the ground surface of this fresh water spring? We restrain from tromping our boots through these habitats, lest we inevitably do the small creatures harm.
This area may not look like much of anything, to you or I, but it may well be the Taj Mahal of salamander land. Thanks to those who protect water sheds, and the rarities which inhabit them.
Special thanks to John Howard for helping understand these creatures, and to The Friends of the Scioto Brush Creek and other like minded groups all across our state.
. Clean water is our future, and not just for salamanders, but people as well.